The ten worst extreme weather disasters in 2021 caused more than $170 billion in insured losses, according to a report from Christian Aid, a UK NGO. The full costs are certainly higher, however, because the $170.3 billion does not account for impacts not covered by insurance. The damages represent the rising cost of climate change as it worsens extreme weather, like Hurricane Ida which caused $65 billion in insured losses.
“The costs of climate change have been grave this year, both in terms of eyewatering financial losses but also in the death and displacement of people around the world,” report author Kat Kramer said in a statement. “Be it storms and floods in some of the world’s richest countries or droughts and heatwaves in some of the poorest, the climate crisis hit hard in 2021.”
In addition to Hurricane Ida, the report tallied costs of the European flooding, the Texas winter storm, flooding in China’s Henan Province, British Columbia flooding, April’s French wine freeze, and Cyclone Tauktae.