Natural disasters costs rise to $170bn in 2021
Climate change takes its financial toll on the world, with only the top 10 disasters costing the world tens of billions of dollars.
2021's top 10 most expensive natural disasters caused some $170 billion in damages, $20 billion up from last year, a British NGO said Monday, which reflects the fact that climate change has only been worsening.
Christian Aid, a British aid group, calculates each year the cost of weather incidents of natural disasters such as floods, fires, and heatwaves as per insurance claims.
Natural disasters rose by 13% in costs in 2021 from 2020, after causing $150 billion in damages last year.
Christian Aid found that this uphill trend is a manifestation of the worsening global situation in terms of man-made climate disasters.
The 10 disasters in question led to the death of at least 1,075 people and displaced 1.3 million people.
This year's most expensive disaster was Hurricane Ida, which hit the eastern United States, ravaging the region and inflicting $65 billion in damages.
The second most costly natural disaster was the deadly flooding in Germany and Belgium in July, costing $43 billion in losses.
The third on the list was the winter storm in Texas, which ravaged the state's power grid, costing $23 billion in damages.
China's Henan flooding in July ranked fourth, costing $17.6 billion, making it 2021's second most costly flooding.
Other disasters whose damages amounted to billions of dollars include the floods in Canada, the spring frost in France that sparked an agricultural disaster, and a cyclone in India and Bangladesh in May.
The report said its evaluation mainly covers disasters in rich countries with better infrastructure, noting that the financial toll of natural disasters on poor countries is often incalculable.
"Some of the most devastating extreme weather events in 2021 hit poorer nations, which have contributed little to causing climate change," the report's press release noted.
Earlier this month, Swiss Re, a reinsurance company, estimated natural catastrophes and extreme weather events have caused around $250 billion in damage this year, which represented a 24% increase.