The Philippines and Haiti suffered the biggest climate-related disasters last year, a study showed as U.N. envoys from 195 nations discussed ways to cope with the increasingly costly impacts of global warming.
The analysis from the Berlin-based research group Germanwatch gave more weight to the death toll and value of damage compared with the size of the economy and population of a country. The study didn't include damage from this year, including Super Typhoon Haiyan's devastation in the Philippines.
The study, which does not point to specific weather events, highlights the risk that developing nations are facing from more ferocious storms and frequent floods that scientists say are due to higher global temperatures.
"Haiti is the untold story of Hurricane Sandy," Sönke Kreft, leader of the climate policy team at Germanwatch, said yesterday after releasing the report during U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland.
Philippines, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. Credit: Flickr/European Commission DG ECHO
"Together with increasing evidence on the fingerprint of climate change, this provides a very powerful message."
Haiti suffered 54 deaths, 12,000 cholera cases and $750 million in damage when it was struck by rain and wind from the outer bands of Sandy, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Delegates at the U.N. talks this week are discussing a "loss and damage" mechanism that examines how to help developing nations on the front lines of climate-related impacts.
The climate talks aim to lay the groundwork for a meeting in Paris in 2015 that could adopt an agreement that would limit greenhouse gas emissions (Alex Morales, Bloomberg, Nov. 12).
Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.
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