Global Hotspots of Climate-Related Disasters

38 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2023

See all articles by Camila Donatti

Camila Donatti

Conservation International

Kristina Nicholas

American University

Giacomo Fedele

Conservation International

Damien Delforge

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Niko Speybroeck

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL)

Paula Moraga

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jamie Blatter

MPA Collaborative Network

Regina Below

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Alex Zvoleff

Conservation International

Abstract

Even if net zero emissions were achieved immediately, the carbon locked in the atmosphere will continue to impact ecosystems and people. Despite the need to minimize climate change impacts, climate adaptation has not kept pace with escalating risks. Data on disaster occurrences and impacts can guide action to where it is most needed. We used data on climate-related disasters recorded between 2000 and 2020 in the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) to 1) discern disparities in climate-related disaster impacts across countries and continents, and 2) pinpoint administrative areas where people have been highly impacted. Over 4,600 occurrences of climate-related disasters were documented, directly impacting over 3.3 billion people. Highly developed countries experienced fewer impacts despite not having a lower number of climate-related events. African countries showed an increase in the number of people impacted through time, despite a decrease in the number of climate-related events. Areas in Central America and the Caribbean, Eastern North America, Eastern Africa and Madagascar, and Southern and Eastern China, India and Southeast Asia had the highest numbers of people impacted per km2. Identifying locations with high numbers of impacted people can lead to action and policy shifts. Nature conservation, restoration and management could be important interventions to help people adapt to the impacts of climate change, especially in areas of low human development and where people have experienced high and very high impacts. In the policy sphere, analyzing historical occurrences of climate-related disasters could guide efforts to address losses and damages and to promote climate justice.

Keywords: climate change adaptation, nature-based solutions for adaptation, climate-related disasters

Suggested Citation

Donatti, Camila and Nicholas, Kristina and Fedele, Giacomo and Delforge, Damien and Speybroeck, Niko and Moraga, Paula and Blatter, Jamie and Below, Regina and Zvoleff, Alex, Global Hotspots of Climate-Related Disasters. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4596888 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4596888

Camila Donatti (Contact Author)

Conservation International ( email )

Antananarivo 101, 20036
Madagascar

Kristina Nicholas

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Giacomo Fedele

Conservation International ( email )

Antananarivo 101, 20036
Madagascar

Damien Delforge

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Niko Speybroeck

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

Paula Moraga

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Jamie Blatter

MPA Collaborative Network ( email )

Regina Below

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Alex Zvoleff

Conservation International ( email )

Antananarivo 101, 20036
Madagascar

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