Droughts, floods, storms and hurricanes were among the costliest climate change-related disasters in 2022, according to a new report.
The Christian Aid report found that the 10 costliest events in terms of insured losses ranged from $3 billion to $100 billion, although the figures are only estimates so the actual spending could be much higher.
These are the 10 costliest disasters of the year:
Hurricane Ian – $100 billion
Ian was a Category 4 hurricane that caused widespread damage to western Cuba and the southeastern US. Over seven days in late September, it killed at least 150 people and left 40,000 homeless.
European drought – $20 billion
The summer drought of 2022 was widely recognized as the continent’s worst in 500 years, affecting food and energy production, water availability and wildlife. It also sparked wildfires, crop losses, and caused more than 20,000 excess deaths.
China floods – $12.3 billion
In June, South China saw its heaviest rains since 1961causing flooding and landslides and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people.
Drought in China: 8.4 billion dollars
In late August, China experienced its hottest and driest summer since records began in 1961, with more than 70 days of extreme temperatures and low rainfall severely affecting the Yangtze River Basin, which supports more than 450 million people and a third of the country’s crops.
Floods in eastern Australia: $7.5 billion
From late February to March, the eastern states of Australia experienced flooding that killed 27 people and displaced 60,000. Various towns in northern New South Wales, for example, had a month of rain in just six hours – and this happened while they were still struggling to recover from the record floods of the previous month.
Floods in Pakistan: 5.6 billion dollars
From mid-June to September, floods killed more than 1,700 people and displaced seven million in Pakistan. The flooding was made worse because it came after a record hot summer, meaning the ground was too dry to absorb the water.
Storm Eunice – $4.3 billion
Over five days in February, Storm Eunice wreaked devastation across Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Seven people died.
In the United Kingdom gusts of 122 mph were recorded – the strongest winds in more than 30 years.
Drought in Brazil – $4bn
Brazil has been in a drought for most of the year, a drought believed to be the worst in decades. The low level of the Amazon River is a particular concern.
Hurricane Fiona – $3 billion
hurricane fiona hit the Caribbean and Canada in late Septemberkilling more than 25 people and leaving 13,000 homeless.
At least four international airports have been closed, roads have been closed and several communities have been isolated.
KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape, South Africa floods: $3 billion
For a week in April, 459 people died and more than 40,000 had to leave their homes. Water services were shut down and Durban, one of South Africa’s busiest ports, was disrupted.
The report will turn on again the debate over who should pay for a ‘climate catastrophe’and many of the disasters occur in parts of the world that are least to blame for climate change.
There was some progress on this issue at the global climate negotiations at COP27 in Egypt in November, where countries reached a historic agreement to establish a fund for climate damages.
But the details of where the money comes from and who receives it are yet to be worked out.
Christian Aid chief executive Patrick Watt said the figures in the report point to the “financial cost of inaction on the climate crisis”.
The human cost of the spiraling crisis “is seen in homes swept away by floods, loved ones killed by storms and livelihoods destroyed by drought,” it added.
Watch the Daily Climate Show at 3:30pm Monday through Friday, and The Climate Show with Tom Heap on Saturday and Sunday at 3:30pm and 7:30pm
All on Sky News, on the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.
The show investigates how global warming is changing our landscape and highlights solutions to the crisis.