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Extreme weather intensified by climate change hit the world’s poorest countries hardest in 2019, according to the latest Global Climate Risk Index by environmental organization Germanwatch. Eight of the 10 countries hardest hit by extreme weather since 2000 are poorer nations that haven’t produced the emissions that are now upending weather patterns. Leaders of industrialized countries — who have high historic emissions — have promised $100 billion to finance climate adaptation in poorer nations, a promise that isn’t currently being kept. But Kristalina Georgieva, who leads the International Monetary Fund, said recently that the global response to the pandemic should help poorer countries take on the climate crisis.
Why this Matters: The emissions causing the climate crisis have mostly been emitted by wealthier nations, which should bear the largest financial responsibility. In the past, global institutions like the IMF have been criticized for imposing policies that promoted privatization at the expense of public health and environmental concerns. The pandemic has only reinforced that climate, health, and economic risks are intertwined. Georgieva hopes to use the recovery as an opportunity to help countries adapt to extreme weather and other shifts.
More from the Global Climate Risk Index
“The good news is that it can be win-win-win-win,” Georgieva told The Guardian. “Building resilience can be good for nature and ecosystems; it can be good for economic growth; at a time when economies have lost low-skilled jobs, it boosts job creation; and the fourth win is that it can bring health benefits [such as reduced air pollution].” The index, which has been published for 16 years now, ranks which countries and regions have been most impacted by extreme weather made worse by climate change.
In 2019, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and the Bahamas were most affected as a result of Cyclone Idai hitting the southeast coast of Africa and Hurricane Dorian wrecking damage on the Caribbean.
Cyclone Idai was one of the deadliest and costliest cyclones, with heavy rains that caused flash floods and landslides.
Of the ten most affected countries in 2019, six were hit by tropical cyclones
From 2000 to 2019 . .
Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were most impacted by extreme weather.
Globally, over 475,000 people died as a direct result of more than 11,000 extreme weather events
These weather events totaled $ 2.56 trillion in losses
Axios reported this week that while coverage of climate change by media outlets has increased, this pales in comparison to the coverage that weather receives. Groups like Climate Central have launched new tools that can help journalists understand the local impacts of climate change while the Weather Channel has committed to tying climate change to […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer As temperatures hit record highs in the Western U.S. this week, another heatwave was brewing in Siberia. New satellite imagery showed that ground temperatures in the Arctic circle topped 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts say that rising temperatures like these in the world’s coldest regions threaten oceans, permafrost, forests, and more. Moreover, experts say that […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The Weather Channel reported that this summer will be especially hot for the Western and Northern parts of the United States—from the Great Lakes to the Plains and Northwest— through September. Meanwhile, Texas and the Deep South will tend to be less hot than average. We’ve seen a preview […]
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