Weather is Becoming Costlier than Ever

Published January 7, 2022

I recently wrote a blog about the number of weather events that have exceeded the billion dollar mark in costs. Well, 2021 was a whopper of a year for weather-related disasters. According to a new study authored by UK charity Christian Aid, last year the 10 biggest worldwide climate disasters cost a massive $170.3 billion. At $65 billion, the most costly was Hurricane Ida that hit the U.S.

In statement the study’s authors indicated that "Most of these estimates are based only on insured losses, meaning the true financial costs are likely to be even higher." They also noted that insurer Aon has warned that 2021 marked the sixth time global natural catastrophes have cost more than $100 billion. More alarming is that all six have occurred since 2011.

Some other interesting notes from the study:

  • Wealthier countries suffer a greater financial impact because of higher property values and can afford insurance, but some of the worst events hit poorer nations.
  • Placing a financial value on the loss doesn’t take into account the human suffering caused by food insecurity, drought and other related events that cause mass displacements and loss of life.
  • Slow developing crises like the Central Africa's Chad Basin drought are also not part of the financial equation. Since 1970 Lake Chad has shrunk 90% and threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of the world's poorest inhabitants.

Let’s hope we haven’t passed the point of no return.

Here’s the full list:

  1. Hurricane Ida — $65 billion.
  2. European floods — $43 billion.
  3. Texas winter storm —$23 billion.
  4. Henan floods(China) — $17.6 billion.
  5. British Columbia floods — $7.5 billion.
  6. France's "cold wave" — $5.6 billion.
  7. Cyclone Yaas(India, Bangladesh) — $3 billion
  8. Australian floods — $2.1 billion.
  9. Typhoon In-fa (China, Philippines, Japan) — $2 billion.
  10. Cyclone Tauktae (India, Sri Lanka, Maldives) — $1.5 billion.