Study: Weather disasters cause $200 billion in damage worldwide every year - Germany in the top 15

According to a study by the reinsurer Swiss Re, the Philippines is experiencing the greatest damage from weather disasters in the world in terms of its economic output.

Study: Weather disasters cause $200 billion in damage worldwide every year - Germany in the top 15

According to a study by the reinsurer Swiss Re, the Philippines is experiencing the greatest damage from weather disasters in the world in terms of its economic output. According to modeled estimates, the damage there currently amounts to three percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), the Swiss Re Institute reported on Wednesday in Zurich. Germany was in 14th place.

The institute evaluated data on four weather events: floods, tropical cyclones, severe thunderstorms and winter storms in Europe. Together they cause economic damage estimated at around $200 billion (around €185 billion) per year worldwide. According to Swiss Re, these are model calculations based on figures from 2022.

Far behind the Philippines, the USA came in second place in the study with damage amounting to 0.38 percent of GDP, followed by Thailand, Austria and China. Germany was in 14th place with damage amounting to 0.14 percent of GDP. In absolute terms, the damage in the USA is currently by far the highest: around $97 billion per year.

“Climate change is leading to an increase in serious weather events and is therefore becoming an ever greater economic burden,” Swiss Re chief economist Jérôme Jean Haegeli was quoted as saying.

The model calculations refer to the entire damage, not just the insured damage. Other weather events such as heat waves were not taken into account. Projections into the future are not possible, said a spokeswoman. Swiss Re analyzed the countries most affected by climate change damage for which good data is available. “These estimates are at the lower end of possible economic damage,” the institute reported. "As climate change leads to an intensification of weather events, the potential for losses is also likely to increase."

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