This publication provides a sober and revealing analysis of weather-related disaster trends over a twenty year time-frame which coincides with a period which has seen the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties become an established high-profile annual fixture on the development calendar. The contents of this report underline why it is so important that a new climate change agreement emerges from the COP21 in Paris in December.
The report demonstrates that since the first Climate Change Conference (COP1) in 1995, 606,000 lives have been lost and 4.1 billion people have been injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance as a result of weather-related disasters. It also highlights data gaps, noting that economic losses from weather-related disasters are much higher than the recorded figure of US$1.891 trillion, which accounts for 71% of all losses attributed to natural hazards over the twenty-year period. Only 35% of records include information about economic losses. UNISDR estimates that the true figure on disaster losses – including earthquakes and tsunamis – is between US$250 billion and US$300 billion annually.
The report and analysis were compiled by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Belgian-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).