Two major reports have forecast massive potential costs from damage caused by floods, storms and heatwaves resulting from global climate change.
If nothing is done, the ABI report calculates alarming costs in the next 75 years:
- worldwide costs of storms could increase to €22 billion (£15 billion) per year;
- costs of flooding in Europe could rise by €122 billion (£82 billion);
- insurance capital required to cover storm damage could rise by €64 billion (£43 billion).
The report is not all gloom and doom however: action now could greatly reduce the costs:
- reduction in carbon emissions could bring down insurance costs by 80%;
- strengthened building codes could prevent storm damage;
- improved coastal and flood defences could save €23 billion (£16 billion).
Climate change is one of the priorities of the forthcoming
. Both reports call on the summit to take a lead, emphasising the need for strong political will and commitment to tackle the causes of climate change through emissions reduction and renewable energies. Tony Blair, presiding over the G8, sees climate change as “long-term, the single most important issue we face as a global community”.