Australian Floods: One Of The World’s Costliest Climate-Related Disasters in 2022

The 10 most expensive severe incidents in 2022 have been identified in a new report by Christian Aid. The report looks at disastrous events which cost more than $3 billion – $100 billion to repair.

Since most of these estimates are only based on insured losses, the actual financial costs are probably far higher, and the human costs are frequently not considered.

As the world experiences stronger storms, more severe downpours, and droughts caused by rising global temperatures due to human activity, Christian Aid has highlighted the greatest climate-related disasters of the year.

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The world is currently not on track to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping temperature increases below 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, which is why much more urgent action is needed. The recent COP27 climate summit in Egypt, held on 6-20 November 2022, further emphasised that the current trajectory of world governments places us at 2.5°C warmer by the end of the century.

They emphasise the significance of the loss and damage fund, which was just approved at COP27 and is intended to help those in developing nations who have incurred significant losses due to a climate crisis, for they are not to blame. The nonprofit organisation for international development is urging world leaders to decide how to run the fund and start putting money into it.

Christian Aid

Christian Aid is the relief and development agency of 41 Christian churches in the UK and Ireland. It supports sustainable development, eradicates poverty, supports civil society and provides disaster relief in South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. (Reference: Wikipedia)

Christian Aid CEO, Patrick Watt, said:

“Having ten separate climate disasters in the last year that each cost more than $3 billion points to the financial cost of inaction on the climate crisis. But behind the dollar figures lie millions of stories of human loss and suffering. Without major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, this human and financial toll will only increase.

“Some of these catastrophes hit with blinding speed, and others unfolded – such as the terrible drought in East Africa – over many months.

Italian Trulli Image: UN News -Severe drought is killing livestock in the pastoralist community of Higlo Kebele in Ethiopia.

“The UK did not escape the ravages of climate change in 2022, with both Storm Eunice and the summer heatwave taking their toll. These set both a new UK windspeed record and the highest temperature record. This underlines the need for policies to accelerate the transition to net zero and the folly of the decision to open a new coal mine in Cumbria.”

Here are the 10 most costly disasters of the year and other events:

Cost (USD)
14-19 FebruaryStorm EuniceExtratropical cycloneBelgium, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland and the UK
+4.3 billion
23 Feb to 31 MarEast Australia floodsFloodsAustralia
60,000++7.5 billion
8 to 15 AprKwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape floodsFloodsSouth Africa
40,000++3.0 billion
14 June to SeptemberPakistan floodsFloodsPakistan
7.0 million+5.6 billion
June to SeptemberChina floodsFloodsChina
239+12.3 billion
June to SeptemberEuropean droughtDroughtEurope+20 billion
14 to 28 SeptemberHurricane FionaTropical cycloneCaribbean, Canada
13,000+3 billion
23 September – 2 OctoberHurricane IanTropical cycloneCuba, US
+40,000+100 billion
All yearBrazil droughtDroughtBrazil
0+4 billion
All yearChina droughtDroughtChina
0+8.4 billion
16 December-19 JanuaryMalaysian floodsTropical depressionMalaysia
22 January-5 FebruaryBack-to-back storms in Southeast AfricaTropical storms and tropical cyclonesMadagascar, Mozambique and Malawi
20 January-16 MarchTierra del Fuego wildfireWildfireChile
15 FebruaryPetropolis floodsFloodsBrazil
18 MarchArctic & Antarctic heatwavesHeatwaveArctic and Antarctic regions
March and AprilIndia and Pakistan heatwaveHeatwaveIndia and Pakistan
90 reported (the real figure is probably orders of magnitude higher)
OctoberWest Africa floodsFloodsMali, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger
1.3 million
OctoberCyclone SitrangTropical cycloneBangladesh
1 million
OctoberTropical Storm NalgaeTropical stormPhilippines
All yearHorn of Africa droughtDroughtSomalia, Ethiopia, Kenya6m people
Table&Source: Christian Aid

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Hurricane Ian - $100 billion

One of the climate-related disaster was Hurricane Ian, which in September caused $100 billion in damage. It forced 40,000 people from their homes in the US and Cuba. While the floods in Pakistan killed more than 1,700 people, forced 7 million more people to flee their homes, and according to World Bank estimates, caused $30 billion in economic damage, the drought and heatwave in Europe cost $20 billion each. Only $5.6 billion of these losses were covered by insurance since it was so difficult to get it.

Hurricane Ian, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Florida Image: ABC news-Damages boats lie on the land and water in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Florida

Flooding in Eastern Australia - $7.5b

One of the biggest flood disasters ever recorded in Australia occurred during February and March 2022.

Flooding in eastern Australian states from late February to early March resulted in the deaths of 27 people and the displacement of 60,000. While several communities in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland were still fighting to recover from record flooding the month prior, there was a month’s worth of rain in just six hours.

Following unusual rain that burst river banks and battered the east coast, thousands of Australian citizens were forced to leave their homes for the second time in weeks.

NSW-climate-related-disaster Image: 7 News

Wrapping up

Governments, businesses, and individuals need to take action to address climate change and reduce the risk of future disasters. This can involve reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change’s impacts, and investing in infrastructure and other measures to mitigate the risks of future disasters, like solar PV systems with solar panel installation, wind turbines at home or converting your next car to an electric vehicle (EV).

Check out our page to learn more about electric vehicles available in Australia.

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