Climate catastrophes cost nations billions in 2020

London, January 4 (RHC)-- Disasters fuelled by weather and climate extremes brought “catastrophic results for millions” across rich and poor nations in 2020, causing thousands of deaths and tens of billions of dollars in losses, charity Christian Aid has revealed.

London-based Christian Aid is the official relief and development agency of 41 Christian churches in the UK and Ireland, and works to support sustainable development, eradicate poverty, support civil society and provide disaster relief in South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

In a report, the aid agency identified 15 of the most destructive climate disasters of the year -- from wildfires to floods and storms and locust swarms -- nine of which led to damage worth at least $5 billion each, based on insured losses.

Financial costs tend to be higher in richer countries as they have more valuable property, it noted, but some extreme weather events in 2020 were devastating in poorer countries, with generally higher death tolls despite a lower price tag.

Report author Kat Kramer, Christian Aid’s climate policy lead, said “climate breakdown” had compounded the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in vulnerable regions.  “The good news is that, like the vaccine for COVID-19, we do know how to fix the climate crisis,” she said.  “We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, boost clean energy investment and help those who are suffering on the frontline.”

Edited by Ed Newman



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