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Climate change: Storms and floods will cause 70 billion euros in damage in the first half of 2022 alone

2022-08-02T11:30:15.945Z

Climate change is taking its toll: heavy rain and storms have already caused huge damage around the globe in 2022. Most of these are uninsured – and these “gaps in protection” are likely to widen.



Enlarge image

Hit by the water masses: Flooded houses in the US state of Kentucky (photo from July 29)

PHOTO: SGT JESSICA ELBOUAB/KENTUCKY NATIONAL GUARD/HANDOUT/EPA

Forest fires in Europe and many flood deaths in the US state of Kentucky are currently showing it again: The number of extreme weather events is increasing - and with it the extent of the devastation.

According to the Swiss reinsurer Swiss Re, storms and floods alone have already caused losses of 72 billion dollars in the first six months of this year.

That's the equivalent of around 70 billion euros.

Although this sum is below the average for the past ten years, the sum of the insured losses is above average, as the Swiss reinsurer Swiss Re announced on Tuesday.

Accordingly, the insurers paid for damages in the amount of 35 billion dollars.

A series of winter storms in Europe, unprecedented flooding in Australia and South Africa and a high number of thunderstorms in the US and Europe led to the damage, Swiss Re explained.

The floods in Australia were therefore the world's most expensive natural catastrophe for the insurance industry in the first half of the year.

75 percent of all catastrophes are not insured

According to Swiss Re, the temperature records in many parts of Europe could lead to further damage from droughts and forest fires.

"The storm events of the past six months make it clear once again that natural disasters, especially secondary hazards, are increasing in frequency and severity in all regions."

Swiss Re manager Martin Bertogg explained that the effects of climate change are reflected in “increasingly extreme weather events”.

This confirms the trend that the company has observed over the past five years: so-called secondary hazards such as floods or forest fires are driving the damage in all parts of the world.

"Unlike hurricanes or earthquakes, these hazards are pervasive and are exacerbated by rapid urbanization in high-risk areas."

"Climate change is one of the greatest risks for our society and the global economy," said chief economist Jérôme Jean Haegeli.

Since 75 percent of all natural catastrophes are still uninsured, Swiss Re sees "large gaps in protection" worldwide - which are being exacerbated by today's cost of living crisis.

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Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-08-02

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