Counting the cost 2020: A Year of Climate Breakdown

Kramer, K. & Ware, J.
Publication language
Date published
29 Dec 2020
Research, reports and studies
Disaster risk reduction, Disasters, Environment & climate, humanitarian action, Livelihoods, Response and recovery, Climate Action (SDG)
Australia, China, Ethiopia, India, Japan, Kenya, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Somalia, South Sudan, Vietnam
Christian Aid

Covid-19 may have dominated the news agenda in 2020, but for many people the ongoing climate crisis compounded that into an even bigger danger to their lives and livelihoods. Be they fires in Australia and the United States, floods in China, India and Japan or storms in Europe and the Americas, almost every part of the globe was touched by climate-related disasters in 2020, with catastrophic results for millions of people.

This report examines the ten most financially devastating events, each of which racked up losses of more than a billion dollars. Most of these estimates are based on insured losses so the true figure is likely to be much higher. The report also highlights five additional events, which while having lower financial losses were just as damaging, such as floods in South Sudan and Pakistan which killed more than 500 people and devastated livelihoods.

Kramer, K. & Ware, J.