Losses from climate disasters surge over last 20 years, UN says
Reported economic losses from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and climate-related disasters such as floods and hurricanes have been nearly $2.9 trillion over the past two decades, the UN office for disaster risk reduction says.
UNISDR, as the office is known, said assets are increasingly found in disaster-prone areas, contributing to a 251 per cent increase in climate-related disaster losses from the previous 20-year period.
The U.S. topped the list at over $944 billion, nearly twice the figure from China, in second. Japan, India and Puerto Rico completed the top five.
The agency cautioned Wednesday that the 1998-2017 figures rely on official reports, so more economically powerful countries are generally overrepresented. Insurance is less widespread in developing countries.
UNISDR's tally is based on confirmed documentation, meaning the $2.9 trillion is likely only a fraction of actual losses.