Climate change having visible impact on natural catastrophe losses

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Munich Re has issued a press release saying that climate change is one of the biggest challenges faced by mankind. If we don’t They say that there is clear evidence that climate change is a contributing factor to increasing natural catastrophe losses and that ambitious targets are needed from the Copenhagen climate summit.

Munich Re say that their NatCatSERVICE database shows that globally the average number of major weather related catastrophes is now three times as high as it was in the early 1980’s. Losses have increased by an average of 11% per year since then. They can’t nail down how much of that is due to climate change, they estimate a low single figure percentage but state that it equals a large financial amount which is growing.Total insured losses from 1980 to 2008 are approximately $465b with $280b just in the last 8 years post the year 2000. That clearly shows a steep rise in dollar amounts lost.

They mention a potential solution in the form of a combination of prevention, support for microinsurance schemes and a climate insurance pool; all of which they peg at a cost of $10b per year. That seems a low cost given the rate of increasing catastrophe losses and well worth the investment.

Read the press release from Munich Re here and some supporting charts and data (demonstrating the increasing losses) in PDF format here.

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