DURBAN, 29 November 2011 (IRIN) – Extreme weather events in the decade ending in 2010 claimed more than 710,000 lives and cost countries and people more than US$2.3 trillion when adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), says the Long-term Climate Risk Index for 1991-2010.
PPP is a currency exchange rate that compares the actual value of things in countries – for example, a farmer in India can buy more with US$1 than a farmer in the US.
The index, released on the sidelines of the UN climate change talks in Durban and produced by Germanwatch, a North-South watchdog initiative, looked at the impact of extreme weather events from 1991 to 2010, based on data from Munich Re, one of the world’s biggest insurance companies.
Bangladesh, Myanmar and Honduras top the long-term index. However, there is some good news for Bangladesh – everyone’s disaster poster child. More than 80 percent of the deaths in Bangladesh in the last decade occurred in 1991, when over 140,000 people were killed by a cyclone, but not as many have died since.