Disasters caused $210 billion in damage in 2020, showing growing cost of climate change

A girl stands exterior her dwelling broken on account of heavy rain caused by Hurricane Eta, in Pimienta, Honduras November 6, 2020.

Jorge Cabrera | Reuters

A file quantity of hurricanes, wildfires and floods exacerbated by climate change cost the world $210 billion in damage final 12 months, based on a report by reinsurance firm Munich Re.

Damages totaled $95 billion in the U.S., almost double the losses in 2019. The nation skilled a file quantity of Atlantic hurricanes and the most important wildfires on file in California in 2020, the second-hottest 12 months on file.

Climate change is inflicting extra frequent and intense disasters like storms, warmth waves and wildfires, and financial losses are additionally growing as extra individuals construct in disaster-prone areas.

“Natural catastrophe losses in 2020 were significantly higher than in the previous year,” Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek stated in the report. “Climate change will play an increasing role in all of these hazards. It is time to act.”

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The six costliest disasters of 2020 occurred in the U.S, the worst of which was Hurricane Laura. The storm caused $13 billion in damage after it devastated elements of Louisiana in August. The Atlantic hurricane season noticed a file 30 named storms and accounted for $43 billion in losses, virtually half of the whole catastrophe loss in the U.S. final 12 months, the report stated.

A line of extreme thunderstorms in the Midwest in August caused $6.8 billion in losses and destroyed thousands and thousands of acres of farmland in Iowa. Drought in the West additionally fueled dozens of huge wildfires that resulted in $16 billion in losses.

One main downside the report revealed is the dearth of insurance coverage protection for disasters in creating international locations. Overall catastrophe losses in Asia totaled $67 billion, of which solely $3 billion was insured.

The single worst catastrophe final 12 months was flooding throughout China from summer time monsoons, which amounted to $17 billion in damage, of which solely 2% was insured. Cyclone Amphan hit India and Bangladesh in May, inflicting $14 billion in damage, little or no of which was insured, the report stated.

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