The world lost billions in 2020 due to climate change: report

The report identified ten main events affected by climate change, each with a loss of $ 1.5 billion. Nine of these major events caused losses of more than $ 5 billion. Floods, hurricanes, tropical cyclones and fires killed thousands of people worldwide. The intense Asian monsoon was behind five of the ten least expensive events. The US was hit by the highest costs due to record-breaking storm weather and fire.

A new report by Christian Aid, Calculating Cost 2020: A Year’s Climate Breakdown identifies 15 of the year’s most devastating climate disasters. Ten of these incidents cost $ 1.5 billion or more. Nine of these cause at least $ 5 billion in damage. Most of these estimates are based only on insured losses, which means that financial costs are likely to be higher.

However the report focuses on financial costs, which are generally higher in wealthy countries because they have more valuable assets. Some of the main weather events in 2020 were disastrous in poor countries, even though the price tag was low. For example, South Sudan experienced one of its worst floods on record, which killed 138 people and destroyed crops of the year.

Some disasters quickly unfolded, such as Cyclone Amphen, which hit the Bay of Bengal in May and caused a loss of $ 13 billion in just a few days. Other events, such as floods in China and India, occurred over the months, with an estimated cost of $ 32 billion and $ 10 billion, respectively.

Six of the ten most expensive events occurred in Asia, five of which were associated with an unusually rainy monsoon. Huge locusts in Africa devastated crops and flora in many countries, causing $ 8.5 billion in damage. The outbreak has been linked to wet conditions brought on by unusual rains caused by climate change.

The impact of this major change of weather was felt all over the world. The combined cost of two additional tropical cyclones in Europe was approximately $ 6 billion. The US suffered more than $ 60 billion in damages from both the record-breaking storm season and the record-breaking fire season.

Some sparsely populated places also suffered as a result of global warming. During the first half of the year in Siberia, a heat wave set a record in the city of Verkhoysk with a temperature of 38 ° C. A few months later, heat and drought in Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil at the other end of the world extinguished the fire. Although there were no human casualties from these events, the destruction of these areas has a great impact on biodiversity.

Climate change has affected all these events, but many countries that bear little responsibility for global warming have been affected. It also includes Nicaragua that hit Hurricane Etawah, the strongest hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane, and the Philippines where Typhoon Gony and Wamco made almost back-to-back landfalls.

These major weather events highlight the need for immediate climate action. The Paris Agreement, which has set a target of keeping the temperature rise “well below” 2 ° C and ideally 1.5 ° C, compared to pre-industrial levels, is just five years old. It is important that countries commit to new goals ahead of the next climate conference in Glasgow in November 2021.

Report author Dr. Kat Kremer, Head of Climate Policy for Christian Aid, says, “The Kovid-19 pandemic is a major concern this year. The breakdown of climate for millions of people in vulnerable parts of the world has complicated it. The good news is that like the vaccine for Kovid-19, we know how to fix the climate crisis. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, promote clean energy investment and help those who are suffering on the front line. “

Further, Dr. Roxy Matthew Cole, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune, India, says, “As far as the Indian Ocean is concerned, 2020 was exceptionally hot. We saw record temperatures in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, which span between 30 ° C to 33 ° C. These high temperatures have characteristics of oceanic heat waves which may be due to the rapid intensity of cyclones Amfan and Nisarga before the monsoon. The Bay of Bengal had one of the strongest cyclones recorded during the pre-monsoon season.

Dr Andrew King, lecturer in climatology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, says, “The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic until 2020 was in many cases an extremely challenging year with the effects of severe weather events.” Severe floods and tropical cyclones affected various regions of the world, and heatwaves and wildfires, in particular for many of these events, are evidence that human-climate change has contributed to their severity. Within this challenging landscape there is an opportunity to change direction and work towards a greener future, so we can limit global warming, in line with the Paris Agreement, to avoid some of the most damaging consequences of climate change that we are constantly at high Do under greenhouse gas. Emissions. “

Dr. Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Senior Lecturer at the Center for Climate Scientists and Climate Change Research, University of New South Wales, Australia, says, “Like before 2019 2020 is full of devastating extremes.” California was burnt once again after the Australian wildfires. Wildfires and extreme heat devastated Siberia. The extreme temperatures of the weather covered Europe late. The floods destroyed parts of Asia and a record number of storms were detected in the Atlantic Ocean. We have seen all this with 1 ° C of global average temperature which highlights the sensitive relationship between mean conditions and extremes. Ultimately the effects of climate change will be felt through extremes and not through average changes. Unfortunately we can expect more years to look like 2020 – and worse – as global temperatures creep higher. “

Further Professor M. Shah Jahan Mondal, Climate Scientist, Director of Institute of Flood and Water Management, University of Bangladesh Engineering and Technology, believes that, “Scientific evidence shows that the intensity of tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal has increased in temperature over the years. The increase is due to growth and Cyclone Amfan had one of the strongest records as a result of this year. Also, the 2020 flood was one of the worst [Bangladesh] in history as more than a quarter of the country was underwater.

Mitzi Jonel Tan, Youth Activist for Friday for Future, Philippines, expressed her thoughts, saying, “This year, my home, Philippines, has been hit by thunderstorms after thunderstorms, heartache.” We usually suffer from typhoons, but it feels like a new level – four came up within just one month. Typhoon Goni and Vamka destroyed thousands of homes and left many dead. Fighting to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is important for my survival and for the survival of so many people in the Global South. “

Dr. Shauro Dasgupta, researcher and researcher at the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate-Change in Università Ca ‘Foscari Venezia, said, “Due to population in Europe, every region of the world continues to rise to the extremes of summer. Western Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa have all experienced increased vulnerability by over 10% since 1990.

In addition, 475 million additional exposures on heat waves affecting sensitive populations (over-65) were seen in 2019. , Representing some 2.9 billion extra days experienced. While the heat-related death rate for those over 65 years increased by 53.7 percent in 2000 and 2018. 296,000 deaths in 2018. He adds, “Climate-related extremes Incidents result in direct deaths and injuries, the spread of water-borne disease and destruction of habitat and infrastructure. These incidents often result in large economic costs, which exacerbate direct health effects. According to Lancet Countdown, Compared to high-income economies in 2019 Economic losses from extreme climatic events were nearly five times higher in low-income economies.

Worryingly, these 4 percent losses were insured in low-income economies. With 60 percent in high-income economies. In addition to the impact of global mitigation efforts on the health effects of climate change and the ability of communities to adapt to it, there are also immediate co-benefits of mitigation arising from harmful risks and changes in health-related behaviors that mitigate. If carefully planned and implemented, mitigation interventions will yield major health benefits, underlining the importance of health in all policy approaches. “