• Hurricane Ida has caused widespread flooding and a state of emergency declaration in New York.
  • Research shows that over the last decade, global economic losses from extreme weather events have grown more costly.
  • Insurance service provider AON has stated that this is expected to worsen further due to climate change.

Hurricane Ida, the fourth and to-date strongest storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, has made its way to New York City, albeit as a much weaker tropical storm. Nevertheless, Ida caused widespread flooding and a state of emergency declaration in the United States' biggest city. The current season has so far produced four out of the six to ten predicted hurricanes, but the most active and dangerous time between August and October is still underway.

Over the past decade, global economic losses from weather events like storms, floods, droughts and wildfires have grown more costly. During the first decade of the 21st century, there were only two years when weather disasters cost more than $200 billion (including 2010). In the second decade, those $200 billion-dollar-a-year losses seem to have become more normal, with seven out of ten years grossing over $200 billion in global losses from weather events. The costliest year on record was registered in 2017, totaling over $470 billion in losses, including those from major Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma. All in all, weather damages totaled approximately $2.5 trillion around the globe between 2011 and 2020, up almost 50 percent from the 2001-2010 figure.

As part of the 2020 Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight report, insurance service provider AON points out that due to the influences of climate change, it is expected that "the storms which do develop have the potential to be larger, more intense, and pose a greater risk to coastal and inland vulnerabilities.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The World Economic Forum's Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Contact us to get involved.

this chart shows how weather damage grew more costly in the last decade
Weather damages totaled approximately $2.5 trillion around the globe between 2011 and 2020.
Image: Statista