UN counts the cost of climate-related disasters
October 12, 2018 - Economic losses from climate-related disasters surged to $2.25 trillion over the past two decades, an increase of more than 150 percent compared to the previous 20-year period, according to the UN.
From 1998 to 2017, reported losses from all natural disasters totalled $2.9 trillion, of which 77 percent was due to extreme weather events, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said.
This compares with overall losses of $1.3 trillion from 1978 to 1997, of which climate-related disasters accounted for $895 billion or 68 percent.
Losses were greatest in the United States at over $944 billion, followed by China at $492 billion and Japan at $376 billion.
The UNISDR cautioned that the 1998-2017 figures rely on official reports, so more economically powerful countries are generally overrepresented. Insurance is less widespread in developing countries.
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