Counting the cost 2021: a year of climate breakdown

This report highlights the 10 most financially devastating climate events of 2021, from hurricanes in the US, China and India to floods in Australia, Europe and Canada. All cost over 1.5 billion dollars of damage. It also looks at five events which, while carrying a lower financial cost, brought devastating human impacts such as drought in Africa and Latin America and floods in South Sudan. The top ten most expensive events financially all cost over 1.5 billion dollars of damage with Hurricane Ida in the US topping the list at $65 billion. The floods in Europe came second at $43 billion. This report indicates that richer countries need to provide more funding to support vulnerable communities living in poorer countries to help them adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. These countries have done the least to cause the climate crisis but suffer its effects disproportionately. The report specifically recommends the establishment of a fund to address the loss and damage caused by climate change needs to be set up by the end of COP27 and that all Governments must invest in the energy transition to renewables. Richer countries, it emphasizes, should support developing countries so they can leapfrog the fossil fueled development path taken by richer nations.

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