21 Jan, 2019

Natural Disasters Caused $160 Billion in Damage in 2018

Published at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies – January the 8th 2019

Natural disasters caused $160 billion in economic damage worldwide in 2018, dominated by costly wildfires in California and tropical storms in the United States and Asia, according to a new report from the reinsurance giant Munich Re. California’s Camp and Woolsey fires alone caused losses of $21.7 billion, $16.5 billion of which was insured.

Overall, insurance companies paid out $80 billion in claims for damage from natural disasters last year, down from 2017’s $140 billion, but double the 30-year average. California’s wildfires accounted for nearly one in every $4 insurance companies paid out in disaster claims in 2018, Reuters reported.

“Losses from wildfires in California have risen dramatically in recent years,” Ernst Rauch, the chief climatologist at Munich Re, said in a statement. “At the same time, we have experienced a significant increase in hot, dry summers, which has been a major factor in the formation of wildfires. Many scientists see a link between these developments and advancing climate change.”

Rauch told Reuters that the mounting costs bring into question whether people can continue to build in high-risk wildfire areas without protective measures, such as more fire-resistant materials.

Twenty-nine natural disaster events in 2018 caused more than $1 billion in damage each. Tropical cyclones caused $57 billion in damage last year, much of it from hurricanes Michael and Florence that hit the United States and typhoons Jebi, Mangkhut, and Trami in Asia.

A severe drought in Europe that set off major wildfires and agricultural losses caused $3.9 billion in damage last year. But Munich Re reports that just a small fraction of this damage, $280 million, was covered by insurance companies since farmers in Europe don’t typically purchase policies for drought

30 Août, 2018

La Californie développe une politique en faveur du changement climatique qui pourrait s’avérer un modèle pour le monde

On late Tuesday, the California Assembly passed a bill requiring 100 percent of the state’s electricity to come from carbon-free sources by the end of 2045. This puts one of the world’s most aggressive clean-energy policies on track for the governor’s desk.
Movin’ on up: The new bill also moves up the state’s earlier time line to reach 50 percent renewables from 2030 to 2026. But notably, California regulators have said the state’s major utilities could reach that milestone as early as 2020. This underscores the rapid pace at which the energy transformation has unfolded since the state put its renewable standards in place in 2002.
The testing grounds: California is acting as a test bed for what’s technically achievable, providing a massive market for the rollout of clean-energy technologies and building a body of knowledge that other states and nations can leverage, says energy economist Severin Borenstein. “We are showing that you can operate a grid with high levels of intermittent renewables,” he says. “That’s something that can be exported to the rest of the world.