Nations count cost of 2018 climate disasters
Published: 07:27 PM, 28 December 2018 Updated: 07:27 PM, 28 December 2018
Daily Bangladesh Desk
Climate change-induced disasters cost nations at least $100 billion in 2018, a watchdog said Thursday, warning the spate of deadly wildfires, floods and super storms was “a shadow” of things to come if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t slashed.
This year is set to be the fourth hottest on record and as planet-warming carbon and methane levels in the atmosphere continue to rise, extreme weather events such as the devastating blazes that destroyed swathes of California are likely to become far more common.
“2018 showed the catastrophic threat that climate change presents the world. And this was just a shadow of what would come if temperatures continue to rise,” said Kat Kramer, global climate lead for the Christian Aid group.
Her team compiled a list of 10 climate-linked disasters and used open source data, official estimates and assessments from insurance firms to determine the cost of each.
Topping the list were hurricanes Florence and Michael, which caused an estimated $17 billion (15 billion euros) and $15 billion worth of damage, respectively.
Michael was the strongest storm to hit the continental United States since 1969, and killed 45 people in the US and at least 13 in Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
This month saw nations agree a common rule book to implement the 2015 Paris climate accord, in which countries committed to limiting global temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).
But major polluters including the United States and Saudi Arabia disputed a landmark scientific report released in October that suggested nations must slash fossil fuel use by nearly half in a little over a decade in order to achieve the Paris goals.
“The only answer is for immediate global efforts to reverse the rise in emissions, to put the world on course for carbon neutrality by the middle of the century,” Kramer told AFP.
The pledges finalized at the COP24 talks in Poland this month set Earth on a path towards 3C warming — enough to displace hundreds of millions and tug at the fabric of society.
Kramer said governments were still beholden to domestic audiences who rely on dirty energy to heat their homes and power their cars.
“Since much of the public’s day-to-day life is based around using fossil fuels, governments are often unwilling to make the changes that would be needed to cut emissions.”
‘Face of climate change’
2018 saw at least one major climate-induced disaster on every inhabited continent on Earth.
Christian Aid found that four events — including the California wildfires, drought in southern Europe and widespread flooding in Japan — cost at least $7 billion each.
“The unprecedented floods, droughts, heat waves, wildfires and super storms we’ve seen in recent years they are the face of climate change,” said Michael Mann, distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University.
“The world’s weather is becoming more extreme before our eyes — the only thing that can stop this destructive trend from escalating is a rapid fall in carbon emissions.”
Christian Aid said the damage estimates were likely to be far lower than the true cost of most disasters as they often only showed insured losses and didn’t account for lost productivity associated with closed or damaged businesses and homes.
- Shakib removes Gulbadin, Nabi in same over
- Stocks perform mixed on higher transactions
- Mosaddek gets Hashmatullah 2 down for AFG
- AL has been strengthened by attack: Sheikh Hasina
- Shakib strikes his first over
- Russell ruled out of World Cup with injury
- Mushfiqur, Shakib takes Bangladesh to 262
- Arrest warrant issued against Mila
- Shakib first Bangladeshi to 1000 WC runs
- 7.3-magnitude quake hits Indonesia, no tsunami threat
- Nabi gets Tamim 2 down for Bangladesh
- Bangladesh lose Liton early
- HC seeks info on unfit vehicles and drivers
- 14 killed as India tent collapses during religious gathering
- JCD factions clash at Nayapaltan, cocktails blast
- Tigers to bat first after losing toss
- Argentina beat Qatar to qualify for last eight
- Rail communication to be normal by evening: Secy
- Happy birthday to football magician Messi
- 14th span of Padma Bridge to be installed Jun 28
- Heat wave may continue and spread
- Habiganj municipality by-election underway
- Kulaura train crash: Three deceased identified
- Bogura-6 by-election underway
- Death toll rises to 5 in Kulaura train crash
- Pirate leader killed in gunfight
- "Huge" blast rocks military hospital in Pakistan
- Tigers face Afghanistan today
- Train crash: 4-member probe committee formed
- Four killed in Kulaura train crash
- All News »
- Shakib, Liton star as Tigers beat Windies
- World population to increase 2 bn by 2050: UN report
- AL to make it`s 70th anniversary memorable
- Tigers won toss, bowl first
- Public exam pass marks 40, no GPA 5
- Gayle falls for duck!
- Probe report submission deferred again
- Bangladesh achieves fastest growth in Asia-Pacific
- Mushfiqur`s ton in vain as Bangladesh lost to Australia
- Caribbeans set 322-run target for Tigers
- None can escape creating sabotage: HM
- England beat Afghanistan by 150 runs
- Europe’s oldest person ‘Nonna Peppa’ died at 116
- RAB revealed mystery of Sensational Shakib murder
- ‘Nani’ providing health care on cycle at 92
- No exempt, although it is MP-Minister’s house: Rezaul
- UNHCR envoy Miyavi hoped Rohingya crisis’ quick solve
- 3 farmers killed in Natore road crash
- Moazzem produced before Cyber Crime Tribunal
- Ex-MP Rana gets bail
- Bangladesh to face West Indies today
- BD female pilots become paragons for Congolese women
- Ruling party gibes on BNP maiden day
- PM inaugurates environment fair, tree plantation campaign & tree fair
- Extremists use religion to create fascism: Monirul
- Ijtema photo wins National Geographic prize
- Boat capsizes at Sadarghat: two minors’ body recovered
- Kohli breaks Sachin Tendulkar’s record
- Shakib enters 6000-run club in ODI
- 2 female RMG workers’ bodies recovered in Ashulia