Extreme weather events: 480,000 dead in 20 years

Nearly half a million people have been killed in disasters linked to extreme weather events over the past 20 years, according to a report released on Monday that underscored the threat of climate change to humanity.

And it is the poorest countries that pay the heaviest human price for these storms, floods or heat waves recorded between 2000 and 2019 by the NGO GermanWatch.

In this toll of nearly 480,000 deaths caused by more than 11,000 extreme weather events, Puerto Rico, Burma and Haiti were the countries most affected.

As the Netherlands’s first Climate Adaptation Summit begins on Monday, this global climate risk index, released annually, also estimates that disasters have cost $ 2.560 billion since the turn of the century.

With the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change is one of the pillars of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit warming to significantly below + 2 ° C compared to the era pre-industrial, or even + 1.5 ° C.

As the effects of global warming are increasingly felt, rich countries had promised to increase their climate assistance to developing countries to $ 100 billion per year from 2020, but the count is not there. always not.

Germanwatch’s report specifically looked at the impacts of the 2019 storm season, with hurricanes and cyclones partially ravaging the Caribbean, East Africa and South Asia.

“Poor countries are more affected because they are more vulnerable to the devastating effects of hazards and have weaker capacities to overcome them,” commented Vera Keunzel, one of the authors of the report.

So, for example, countries like Haiti, the Philippines or Pakistan are hit so often by climatic disasters that they do not have time to fully recover until the next one, she noted.

In a report published in mid-January, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) denounced the woefully insufficient funds spent globally on adaptation measures.

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