A new report has revealed the top 10 costliest environmental disasters of 2022.
2022 has been a year of some “devastating” climate-related disasters, with countries across the globe suffering from more intense storms, deadlier flooding, and a huge bout of summer droughts.
Scientists have said many of the events were driven by rising global temperatures as a result of human activity. They added this highlights the importance of the special fund created at COP27, which will compensate people in poorer countries for the loss and damage they suffered at the hands of the climate crisis.
So here are the 2022 climate disasters which racked up the biggest costs - and the impacts they had on the people and countries hit.
1. Hurricane Ian ($100 billion)
The 2022 climate disaster which comes out on top in terms of financial impact is Hurricane Ian, which cost an eye-watering $100 billion when it hit the US and Cuba in September. Thousands of people were displaced, infrastructure was destroyed, and millions were left without power in the storm’s wake. The hurricane caused at least 157 fatalities, with 5 in Cuba, 146 in Florida, 5 in North Carolina, and 1 in Virginia. Hurricane Ian was declared the deadliest to strike Florida since the Labor Day hurricane in 1935. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
2. European drought ($20 billion)
Those in Europe will not quickly forget the scorching temperatures of summer 2022. The extreme heat waves between June and September exacerbated drought conditions, causing serious consequences for agriculture, hydropower generation, the cooling systems of nuclear plants, and food prices. The disaster - made several times more likely because of climate change - racked up costs of $20 billion, and a report from the Global Drought Observatory said it was Europe’s worst drought year in 500 years. In England and Wales, 3,271 excess deaths were recorded during the heat-wave periods. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
3. China floods ($12.3 billion)
China was also hit by an environmental disaster this year, suffering from mass flooding between June and September. In August, sixteen people were killed in flash floods in the northwest of the country, while many others were reported missing and thousands were injured and displaced. The deluge came during a summer of soaring temperatures and torrential downpour, with multiple cities clocking their hottest days on record. There were power cuts, schools and businesses were closed, and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage was recorded - with the disaster costing China a total of $12.3 billion. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
4. China drought ($8.4 billion)
On the other end of the spectrum, China also suffered a year-long drought - with some experts warning the country is on the brink of a water catastrophe. Over the summer, the world’s biggest polluter experienced an extended period of high temperatures that lasted two months - the longest since records began in the 1960s, according to China’s Meteorological Administration. Experts warned that if the drought, which has so far cost $8.4 billion, continues - there could be devastating consequences for global food security, energy markets, supply chains, and even civilians’ health and safety. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)