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World
11 Oct 2018

India lost $79.5bn from climate-related disasters in 20yrs: UN report

India lost $79.5bn from climate-related disasters in 20yrs

India suffered a whopping $79.5 billion economic loss due to climate-related disasters in the last 20 years, according to a UN report.

The report titled "Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017" was compiled by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

It states that the years between 1998 to 2017 have seen a dramatic rise of 151% in direct economic losses from climate-related disasters.

In context

India lost $79.5bn from climate-related disasters in 20yrs
Affected countries faced losses of $2.9 trillion

Details

Affected countries faced losses of $2.9 trillion

In terms of the impact of disasters on the global economy between 1998 and 2017, affected countries reported direct losses of $2.908 trillion, more than twice of what was lost in the previous two decades.

Illustrating the growing threat from climate change, extreme weather events now account for 77% of total economic losses of $2.245 trillion, said the report released yesterday.

Countries

US, China, Japan, top three countries suffering maximum economic losses

The greatest economic losses have been experienced by the US at $944.8bn, followed by China at $492.2bn, Japan at $376.3bn, India at $79.5bn, and Puerto Rico at $71.7bn.

Storms, floods, and earthquakes place three European countries in the top ten nations for economic losses: France, $48.3bn; Germany, $57.9bn, and Italy $56.6 billion.

Thailand with $52.4 billion and Mexico at $46.5 billion complete the list.

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Floods and storms: Two most frequently occurring disasters

Types

Floods and storms: Two most frequently occurring disasters

Climate-related disasters also account for 91% of all 7,255 major recorded events between 1998-2017.

Floods (43.4%) and storms (28.2%) are the two most frequently occurring disasters.

During 1998-2017, 1.3mn people lost their lives and 4.4bn people were injured, rendered homeless, displaced or in need of emergency assistance.

563 earthquakes, including related tsunamis, accounted for 56% of the total deaths or 747,234 lives lost.

Report released ahead of International Day for Disaster Reduction

The report was released ahead of the International Day for Disaster Reduction on October 13. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "A better understanding of economic losses from extreme weather events can help generate greater action on climate change and increased ambition on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions."

Speech

Reducing economic losses incurred from disasters can transform lives: Guterres

"Measuring economic losses can also motivate Governments to do more to achieve the targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which says that 63% of disaster reports contain no economic data and seeks a substantial reduction in disaster losses by 2030," Guterres added.

Reducing such losses has the power to transform lives and contribute greatly to the eradication of poverty, he noted.

Low-income countries recorded less percentage of disasters than high-income countries

Disasters

Low-income countries recorded less percentage of disasters than high-income countries

While high-income countries recorded losses for 53% of reported disasters between 1998-2017, low-income countries only recorded for 13% of disasters.

The report concludes that climate change is increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

It said disasters will continue to be major impediments to sustainable development so long as the economic incentives to build and develop hazard-prone locations outweigh the perceived disaster risks.

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