May 30, 2023

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Bad weather caused 2 million deaths

Global warming has caused more than two million deaths and $4.3 trillion in economic losses from a half-century of extreme weather events, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Between 1970 and 2021, nearly 12,000 disasters were caused by weather, climate and water-related hazards, and developing countries were hardest hit, with nine out of ten deaths and 60% of economic losses due to climate shocks and extreme weather.

« The most vulnerable communities are the most affected by weather, climate and water hazards WMO Secretary General Peter Talas said.

Additionally, many disasters in least developed countries over the past fifty years have resulted in economic losses of up to 30% of gross domestic product (GDP), according to the UN agency.

Asia has recorded the highest number of deaths from extreme weather, climate and water events in the past 50 years, with nearly a million deaths, more than half of them from Bangladesh alone.

In Africa, the WMO said drought accounted for 95% of the 733,000 deaths from climate-related disasters.

Separately, the agency pointed out that improved precautions and integrated disaster management have helped mitigate the deadly impact of disasters. ” Early warnings can save lives Talas stressed that the deaths recorded in 2020 and 2021 were lower than the average of the previous decade.

« Thanks to early warnings and disaster management, this catastrophic death rate is now thankfully history. “, noted the President of the OMM.

The organization has previously shown that providing a warning 24 hours before the arrival of a hazardous weather event reduces damage by 30%, suggesting that early warnings ” Fruit in hand » Adaptation to climate change due to increased return on investment.

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Currently, the UN agency says only half of the planet is covered by early warning systems, with small island developing states and least developed countries far behind. In contrast, the United Nations initiative “Early Warnings for All” will target 30 countries particularly at risk, nearly half of which are in Africa, by 2023.