Economic Losses from Disasters Underestimated, ‘Out of Control’

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Economic Losses from Disasters Underestimated, ‘Out of Control’

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Economic Losses from Disasters Underestimated, ‘Out of Control’

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 3:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Climate and Energy

CONTENT: Article

By Megan Rowling | 16 May 2013

Economic losses caused by disasters have been underestimated by at least 50 percent, and are “out of control”, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said.

The head of the world body was speaking on Wednesday at the New York launch of a U.N. report on the business case for disaster risk reduction, which reviewed reported losses from disasters in 56 countries.

“Our startling finding is that direct losses from floods, earthquakes and drought have been underestimated by at least 50 percent,” said Ban. “So far this century, direct losses from disasters are in the range of $2.5 trillion. This is unacceptable when we have the knowledge to reduce the losses and benefit from the gains.”

The study from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) noted that, between 2001 and 2011, global reinsurer Munich Re. reported around $1.68 trillion in losses, and over the same period, EMDAT, the major public global disaster database, reported $1.25 trillion in losses.

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Keywords: Environment | Economy | Energy | Thomson Reuters | climate | csr | environment | sustainability

CAMPAIGN: Climate and Energy

CONTENT: Article

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