In another stark reminder that the economy and environment can’t be separated, a new World Bank report finds that climate-related damage from extreme weather events such as Typhoon Haiyan has cost the global economy $200 billion a year over the past decade. According to Munich Re insurance group, that figure has risen from an annual average of $50 billion in the 1980s.
Image © European Commission DG ECHO
The report, titled “Building resilience: integrating climate and disaster risk into development,” finds that emerging economies are increasingly at risk for financial disaster because they are building in areas vulnerable to flooding, drought and other consequences of extreme weather. The average economic impact of climate-related disasters in these rapidly developing countries was one percent of GDP from 2001 to 2006, which was ten times greater than high income countries. Poor countries in Africa and Asia and island nations such as the Philippines are the most at risk in terms of economic and human costs from extreme weather events.
“At the World Bank Group, we are putting disaster risk management at the forefront of our agenda,” said Rachel Kyte, the World Bank’s vice president of sustainable development. “We know there is a lot we can – and must – do to reduce the impact of disasters. The devastation and human tragedy we see in the Philippines now is a stark reminder of the challenges ahead, and it strengthens our resolve.”
Lead image via IRSD (HKRC)