Direct Economic Losses from Climate-Related Disasters Continue to Climb
Over the past 20 years, direct economic losses from climate-related disasters rose 151 percent, according to a report from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Between 1998 and 2017, disaster-hit countries reported direct economic losses of US$2.9 billion, of which climate-related disasters (floods, storms, extreme temperatures, etc) account for 77 percent.
Climate-related disasters also dominate in terms of occurrences over this period, accounting for 91 percent of all 7,255 major recorded events. Floods and storms are the two most frequently occurring disasters.
The greatest economic losses have been experienced by the U.S., China, Japan, India and Puerto Rico.
During this period, 1.3 million people died and 4.4 billion people were injured, rendered homeless, displaced or in need of emergency assistance due to disasters. The report notes that there is a disproportionate impact of disaster events on low and middle-income countries.