• Switzerland's news in English
Climate deal could cut weather disasters: UN
Woman squats in window of flooded hall after heavy rains in Shanghai in August. Photo: STR/AFP

Climate deal could cut weather disasters: UN

AFP · 23 Nov 2015, 11:47

Published: 23 Nov 2015 11:47 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The report from the United Nations agency for disaster risk reduction (UNISDR) said floods, storms and other extreme weather events have killed 606,000 people since 1995, "with an additional 4.1 billion people injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance."
The report noted that while there was no way to establish how much of the rise in such disasters was caused by climate change, the link between the planet's changing climate and extreme weather was clear.
"The contents of this report underline why it is so important that a new climate change agreement emerges from the COP21 in Paris", said UNISDR chief Margareta Wahlstrom, referring to crunch climate talks starting next week.
The talks that open in the French capital on November 30 are tasked with crafting a 195-nation pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions blamed for dangerous levels of climate change.
Between 2005 and 2014, the leading database that tracks weather-linked disasters recorded 335 such incidents, a 14 percent increase compared to the previous decade and nearly double the number recorded from 1985 to 1994.
Overall, the report said, the planet has seen "a sustained rise in the numbers of floods and storms", noting that drought, heatwaves and extreme cold were also growing concerns.
According to UNISDR data, flooding accounted for 47 percent of all weather disasters over the last 20 years, affecting more than 2.3 billion people, the vast majority of whom live in Asia.
A full 75 percent of the 4.1 billion people affected were in either China or India, underscoring the extent to which densely populated areas in those countries were disproportionately vulnerable.
Next in line in terms of the number of people affected over the reporting period were Bangladesh (131 million people) and the Philippines (130 million people), while Brazil (51 million people) led the way in the Americas and Kenya was the most affected country in Africa (47 million people).
The report also detailed the heavy damage to property and infrastructure inflicted by extreme weather.
This includes 87 million homes damaged or destroyed, with hundreds of thousands of schools, hospitals and other key facilities affected worldwide.
In total, UNISDR data counted $1.9 trillion (€1.8 trillion in financial losses attributable to extreme weather events.
Given the correlation between climate change and extreme weather, the planet will "witness a continued upward trend in weather-related disasters in the decades ahead," the report warned.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available