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            UN report shows staggering rise in climate emergencies in last 20 years

            0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 13, 2020
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            The first 20 years of this century have seen a staggering rise in climate disasters, a United Nations report published on Monday shows.

            The Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019, published by the UN Office on Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), shows that there has been a dramatic rise in disasters over the last 20 years, explained by a rise in climate-related disasters, including extreme weather events.

            The last 20 years have seen the number of major floods "more than double." The report also records major increases in storms, drought, wildfires and extreme temperature events.

            Over the last 20 years, major recorded disaster events claimed 1.23 million lives, impacting 4.2 billion people, many on more than one occasion, resulting in approximately almost 3 trillion U.S. dollars in global economic losses.

            The report said that disaster management agencies "are fighting an uphill battle against" an ever-rising tide of extreme weather events. More lives are being saved but more people are being impacted by the expanding climate emergency.

            Although better recording and reporting of disasters may help explain some of the increase in the last two decades, researchers insisted that the significant rise in climate-related emergencies was the main reason for the spike, with floods accounting for more than 40 percent of disasters - affecting 1.65 billion people - storms 28 percent, earthquakes 8 percent, and extreme temperatures 6 percent.

            "This is clear evidence that in a world where the global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period, the impacts are being felt in the increased frequency of extreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts, flooding, winter storms, hurricanes and wildfires," according to the report.

            Currently, "the world is on course for a temperature increase of 3.2 degrees Celsius or more," unless industrialized nations can deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 7.2 percent annually over the next 10 years in order to achieve the 1.5 degree target agreed in Paris.

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