Economic losses from climate-related disasters surged to $2.25 trillion over the past two decades, an increase of more than 150 percent compared to the previous 20-year period, according to the UN. From 1998 to 2017, reported losses from all natural disasters totalled $2.9 trillion, of which 77 percent was due to extreme weather events, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said.
This compares with overall losses of $1.3 trillion from 1978 to 1997, of which climate-related disasters accounted for $895 billion or 68 percent. Losses were greatest in the United States at over $944 billion, followed by China at $492 billion and Japan at $376 billion. The UNISDR cautioned that the 1998-2017 figures rely on official reports, so more economically powerful countries are generally overrepresented. Insurance is less widespread in developing countries.