Global annual disaster costs

by Fran Sussman

A recent post on CD&S asked what we might learn from the economic impacts of disasters about ways to minimize the long term effects on the economy of these extreme weather events.

The post was a response to reading a recent article, “Global Cost Estimates from “Informing Climate Adaptation:  A Review of the Economic Costs of Natural Disasters,” by Carolyn Kousky, which appears in the journal, Energy Economics.  Although the focus in the article is on the conceptual basis of the estimates rather than the story told by the numbers, the author does pull together some estimates and the results are rather striking.   (more…)

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Lessons from empirical studies of the costs of extreme weather events

by Fran Sussman

A critical gap in our knowledge about the economic costs of climate change is the cost of extreme events. Until earlier this week, the calmness of this Fall’s hurricane season had lulled  the public and policy makers into a sense that perhaps we have more time. But the devastation and loss in life caused when Typhoon Haiyan—among the worst in history—slammed into the Philippines has quickly dispelled any developing sense of security about extreme events.  As we make choices concerning the types and magnitude of investments and institutional changes we need to make for the future, the question arises, “Is there anything to be learned from studies of the costs of extreme events about how to prepare—how much to spend on prevention and preparedness, or where to target investments?” (more…)

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