Natural disasters cause significantly more damage than in the previous year

From Hurricane Ida to floods in Germany and China: Environmental disasters cost the world 22.6 billion euros more this year than in 2020 – also because of climate change.

According to calculations by a British aid organization, the ten financially most severe weather disasters of this year caused damage totaling more than 150 billion euros, around 22.6 billion euros more than in the previous year. The increase in the total amount of damage by around 13 percent reflects the consequences of man-made climate change, said the organization Christian Aid on Monday.

Floods, storms and droughts killed people in some of the world’s poorest regions, and many were displaced. That shows the increasing injustice caused by the effects of global warming, it said. Nonetheless, wealthier nations are also affected. The effects of climate change were felt in Australia , India , South Sudan and Canada , for example .

“The costs of climate change were serious this year,” says author Kat Kramer, head of climate policy at Christian Aid. Their report names 15 of the most devastating natural disasters of the year, including ten, each causing $ 1.5 billion or more in damage.

The overview:

Hurricane Ida , which struck the United States in August. He tops the list of damages at $ 65 billion. The fifth strongest hurricane ever to hit land in the United States killed 95 people and left many houses destroyed. A severe onset of winter that hit Texas in February resulted in massive power outages and $ 23 billion in damage.

The severe floods in Germany , France , the Netherlands and Belgium in the summer of 2021 caused enormous damage amounting to 43 billion dollars and killed more than 240 people. In Germany, parts of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate have been hit by extreme rainfall, which scientists believe has become more likely and more frequent due to global warming.
Four of the ten most costly disasters occurred in Asia , with flooding and typhoons costing the region a total of $ 24 billion.

The cyclone Yaas, the in May India and Bangladesh ravaged caused in just a few days damages amounting to three billion dollars and forced more than 1.2 million people to evacuate from their homes in low-lying areas.

In China, heavy rains in central Henan Province in July caused massive flooding, causing damage of $ 17.6 billion and killing 302. The rain that fell in the provincial capital Zhengzhou within three days was almost the annual average and flooded the subway network.

The real cost of such extreme weather events is likely to be higher than the report’s estimates, which are based primarily on insured losses. In addition, the financial impact is usually greater in rich countries that can afford insurance and have higher quality real estate and infrastructure.

Some weather extremes cause relatively low financial burdens, but claim many victims. For example, the floods in South Sudan from July to November forced more than 850,000 people out of their homes, many of whom had already been displaced from their original homes as a result of conflict or other disasters.