'Uninhabitable hell': Climate change and disease threaten millions, UN warns

(Reuters, 12 Oct 2020) As climate change-related disasters soar, a failure to act to prevent them is an act of 'wilful' negligence, the UN's disaster chief says.

A jump in climate-related disasters this century, along with the global coronavirus pandemic, show political and business leaders are failing to stop the planet turning into "an uninhabitable hell" for millions, the United Nations said on Monday.

The last two decades saw the number of disasters caused by extreme weather nearly double to 6,681, up from 3,656 between 1980 and 1999, according to a report issued ahead of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on Oct. 13.

Worsening floods and storms accounted for about four-fifths of the total from 2000-2019 but major increases were also recorded for droughts, wildfires and heatwaves.

"We are wilfully destructive. That is the only conclusion one can come to", with action on climate change and other major threats lagging, said Mami Mizutori, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative for disaster risk deduction.

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Reuters, 12 Oct 2020: 'Uninhabitable hell': Climate change and disease threaten millions, UN warns