According to World Meteorological Organization (WMO), storms, floods, droughts and forest fires affected the lives of 108 million people In 2018, a high figure that the same institution recognizes is not going down, but quite the opposite: it could grow by 50 percent, to 162 million annually, in 2030.
About the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, the organization prepared a report where it also recalls that one in three people in the world is not covered by early warning systems against this kind of catastrophe.
“Being prepared and being able to react at the right time and in the right place can save many lives, as well as protect the livelihoods of communities around the world,” stressed the WMO Secretary-General, Petteri Taalas.
These systems serve to prevent everything from cyclones and hurricanes to floods, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, sand and dust storms, desert locust infestations, harsh winters, or flash floods of glacial lakes.The study recalls that in the last half century, natural disasters associated with the climate caused more than two million fatalities, 70 percent of them in less developed countries, and caused great economic losses.
Although the average number of deaths due to catastrophe has dropped by a third during that period, the number of registered disasters has increased fivefold, and economic losses have multiplied by seven, warns the report.
Taalas stressed that, although this year has been marked by a health crisis, that of the pandemic of covid-19, “it is essential to remember that climate change will continue to pose a constant and growing threat to human life, ecosystems, economies and societies for centuries to come. ”
“Recovery from the covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity to take a more sustainable path towards resilience and adaptation in the face of man-made climate change,” said the Finnish meteorologist.
The report highlights as a positive point that the financing of measures to mitigate the effects of climate change is reaching “unprecedented levels”, and in 2018 it exceeded the threshold of 500 billion dollars.
However, the WMO warns, the measures adopted to date are insufficient to face an average global warming of 1.5 degrees in this century, before which it would be necessary to invest about 180 billion dollars annually between 2020 and 2030.