Extreme weather has cost Europe about €500bn over 40 years

(The Guardian, 3 Feb 2022) European Environment Agency data shows worst-hit countries to be Germany, France and Italy.

Severe floods and other extreme weather have cost Europe about half a trillion euros in the past four decades, with Germany, France and Italy the worst-hit countries.

Between 90,000 and 142,000 deaths were attributed to weather and climate-related events over the period 1980 to 2020, the overwhelming majority of them from heatwaves.

The data, published by the European Environment Agency on Thursday, does not show a clear trend of increase in losses over the decades from the impact of the climate crisis. This is because the economic impacts tend to be concentrated in a few major events – more than 60% of the economic losses came from just 3% of the weather events over the period – and these can strike anywhere and cause vastly different results.

Wouter Vanneuville, of the EEA, one of the lead authors of the study, said: “There is no clear pattern for the most extreme events – they are still random, to a large extent. But adaptation is ongoing and is having an impact.”

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The Guardian, 3 Feb 2022: Extreme weather has cost Europe about €500bn over 40 years