The first 20 years of this century have seen a staggering rise in climate disasters, a new UN report has revealed.
The report, titled ‘Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019’, published by the UN Office on Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) on Monday, showed that there has been a dramatic rise in disasters over the last 20 years, due to a rise in climate-related disasters, including extreme weather events, reports Xinhua news agency.
The last 20 years have seen the number of major floods “more than double”. The report also records major increases in storms, drought, wildfires, and extreme temperature events.
Major disaster events claimed 1.23 million lives, impacting 4.2 billion people, many on more than one occasion, resulting in approximately almost $3 trillion in global economic losses from 2000 – 2019.
The report said that disaster management agencies “are fighting an uphill battle against” an ever-rising tide of extreme weather events. More lives are being saved but more people are being impacted by the expanding climate emergency.
“This is clear evidence that in a world where the global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period, the impacts are being felt in the increased frequency of extreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts, flooding, winter storms, hurricanes and wildfires,” said the report.
Currently, “the world is on course for a temperature increase of 3.2 degrees Celsius or more“, unless industrialized nations can deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 7.2 percent annually over the next 10 years in order to achieve the 1.5-degree target agreed in Paris.