The 10 costliest storms, floods and droughts in 2022 each cost at least $3bn (£2.5bn) in a “devastating” year on the front lines of the climate crisis, a report shows.
Christian Aid has highlighted the worst weather-related disasters of the year, as the most intense storms, heavy downpours and droughts are brought on by rising global temperatures as a result of human activity.
They include storms and droughts in the UK and Europe, along with major events on all inhabited continents.
Hurricane Ian caused the biggest financial impact ($100 billion) when it hit the United States and Cuba in September.
The balance included 130 deaths and the displacement of more than 40,000 people, according to a report by the aid agency.
The biggest impact in terms of human costs was the floods in Pakistan between June and September, the likelihood of which scientists say was significantly higher due to the climate crisis, which caused 1,739 deaths and displaced 7 million people.
The financial costs were $5.6 billion, though these were only insured losses, and the actual cost of the flooding was estimated at more than $30 billion, Christian Aid said.
Along with the 10 costliest events, the charity’s report highlights other notable weather-related incidents that also caused deaths, displacement, devastation and environmental damage.
They include floods in Malaysia, Brazil and West Africa, prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa, heat waves in India and Pakistan, the Arctic and Antarctic, forest fires in Chile, storms in southeast Africa and the Philippines, and a tropical cyclone. in Bangladesh.
Events also include February’s Storm Eunice, which hit the UK, Ireland and other parts of Europe, causing 16 deaths and costing $4.3 billion.
Europe’s drought this summer, made several times more likely by climate change, racked up costs of $20 billion, hurting crop yields, driving up prices, disrupting power plants and disrupting shipping.
Droughts in China cost $8.4 billion and in Brazil $4 billion).
Flooding in Australia between February and March caused 27 deaths. In South Africa in April, 459 people died in floods. Both events displaced tens of thousands of people and cost billions.
Hugely costly floods also hit China this year.
Christian Aid chief executive Patrick Watt said: “Having 10 separate climate disasters in the last year that cost more than $3 billion each points to the financial cost of inaction on the climate crisis.
“But behind the dollar numbers lie millions of stories of human loss and suffering. Without major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, this human and financial cost will only increase.
“The human cost of climate change is seen in homes washed away by floods, loved ones killed by storms, and livelihoods destroyed by drought.
“This year was devastating if you were living on the front lines of the climate crisis.”
He noted the need for UK government policies to reflect reality. “The UK did not escape the ravages of climate change in 2022 with Storm Eunice and the summer heat wave taking its toll,” he added.
“This underscores the need for policies to speed up the transition to net zero and the folly of the decision to open a new coal mine in Cumbria.”
Christian Aid also said the report showed the importance of the fund created at the international talks at Cop27 this year to compensate people in the poorest countries for the loss and damage they suffered from the climate crisis, who have done the least. to cause, and the urgency to put it into motion.