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Infographic – Growing Climate Crisis Economic Burden

Chart: Economic costs of climate crisis, 1970 to 2019

Click on image for full-size view (Statista)

5 Aug. 2023. Few people in the world need a reminder that the climate is changing quickly, and for the worse. Wildfires, extreme storms, and more flooding are becoming worldwide phenomena of a deteriorating climate from growing greenhouse gas emissions. The business research company Statista posted a chart last month illustrating the growing economic price tag of that climate crisis.

Statista drew the data from a report issued in May from the World Meteorological Organization seeking to put a dollar value on losses from the climate crisis, at least through 2019. WMO tracked natural disasters related to weather, climate, or water through this 50-year period, and calculated their reported numbers of deaths and economic costs. In the last three decades, according to the analysis, the economic burden jumped markedly from before, rising to nearly $1.5 trillion worldwide in the years 2010 to 2019.

The WMO report indicates extreme storms and flooding account for the bulk of economic losses from the climate, weather, and water-related disasters since 2010, but the proportion of losses from wildfires also grew as a part of the total since that time. The largest cause of deaths from these causes since 2010, some 184,000, is extreme temperatures. And according to WMO, the financial numbers may be gross under-estimates. The agency says costs of natural disasters from the climate crisis are reported mainly from developed countries, with 63 percent of losses going unreported.

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