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Extreme weather events caused $171bn of damage in 2022

Extreme weather events caused upwards of EUR158bn ($171bn) in damages in 2022.

A study by development agency Christian Aid found that tangible global economic losses came to $168bn but the true cost outside of insurance-based calculations was likely to be much higher.

The report said that the drought caused by the extreme heat across Europe during the summer was likely to have cost EUR20bn and 20,000 deaths in excess of normal, with wildfires and agricultural losses particularly acute.

Pakistan’s floods killed 1,700, displaced another 7m people from their homes and caused EUR30bn in damage, according to World Bank estimates. However, just EUR5.6bn of that damage was recoverable from insurance.

Hurricane Ian in September 2022 caused around EUR100bn in damages to the US and Cuba, with more than 30,000 people evacuated. The fifth-strongest hurricane ever to hit the US led to 130 deaths, was the strongest to hit Florida in 87 years and the costliest in the past 30 years.

The Caribbean was ravaged by hurricane Fiona in the same month, leaving 90% of Puerto Rico without electricity and killing eight. In the Dominican Republic, some 13,000 people were displaced, 40,000 people were affected by power outages and nearly 1.2m people experienced water supply issues.

It said that island nations are those suffering most from the fallout of climate change, despite being among the least responsible for the human-induced greenhouse gas emissions that are driving temperature rises in recent decades.

Brazil experienced its third dry year in a row, leaving one of the world’s biggest breadbaskets exposed to large agricultural losses. Coffee, soy and corn crops were particularly badly affected.

The Horn of Africa, encompassing parts of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, remains in the clutches of a four-year-long drought affecting 36m people according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

It has been described as ‘the worst in 40 years’, and the ongoing lack of rain has caused crop failures and the death of more than 3m million livestock.



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