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World News

Christian Aid report shows climate disasters cost the world billions in 2022

by Kelly Valencia

A new report by charity Christian Aid has identified the ten most financially costly climate change disasters in 2022, with each causing more than $3 billion (£2.5 billion) in damage.  

Hurricane Ian, which struck the US and Cuba in September, tops the list after it displaced more than 40,000 people and caused $100 billion (£82.4 billion) in financial loss. The floods in Pakistan, which killed 1,700 people and displaced a further seven million, cost $30 billion (£24.7 billion) in economic damage.

Other climate change disasters, such as storm Eunice, which set a new UK wind speed record of 122mph, and Hurricane Fiona, which struck the Caribbean and Canada in September, caused losses valued at more than $3 billion (£2.5 billion) in just a few days.

The "Counting the Cost 2022: a year of climate breakdown" report also examined the impact on human suffering, listing ten other extreme events that caused human and environmental damage, mainly in the world's poorest countries.

600 people were killed by floods across Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali and Niger and a further 1.3 million were displaced. Countries in East Africa suffered severe food insecurity and droughts because of extreme weather events.

All six populated continents were hit by at least one extreme weather event this year.

Christian Aid CEO, Patrick Watt, said:  “Having ten separate climate disasters in the last year that each cost more than $3 billion points to the financial cost of inaction on the climate crisis. But behind the dollar figures lie millions of stories of human loss and suffering. Without major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, this human and financial toll will only increase.

“The human cost of climate change is seen in the homes washed away by floods, loved ones killed by storms and livelihoods destroyed by drought.  This year was a devastating one if you happened to live on the front line of the climate crisis.

“Some of these catastrophes hit with blinding speed, others unfolded - such as the terrible drought in East Africa - over many months.

“The UK did not escape the ravages of climate change in 2022 with both Storm Eunice and the summer heatwave taking their toll. These set both a new UK windspeed record and highest temperature record. This underlines the need for policies to accelerate the transition to net zero and the folly of the decision to open a new coal mine in Cumbria.”

You can read the full report here.

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