PH is 5th country with highest weather-related losses from 1998 to 2017 – report

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Super Typhoon Yolanda, known by the international name Haiyan, hit the Philippines on November 8, 2018 and killed a conservative estimate of 6,000 people.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 5) — The Philippines is among the countries with the highest weather-related losses from 1998 to 2017, a new report finds.

The 2019 Global Climate Risk Index, released by Bonn-based non-governmental organization Germanwatch on Monday, placed the Philippines fifth among 10 countries.

The report said that of 307 weather-related events in the period, the Philippines suffered losses of US$ 2.932 billion in purchasing power parities (PPP), and over 867 deaths.

Puerto Rico tops the index, incurring US$ 5.033 billion PPP in losses and 150 deaths in over 25 weather-related events. It is followed by Honduras, Myanmar, and Haiti.

The Philippines also ranked 20th in the Climate Risk Index for 2017. It recorded over 107 deaths in that year, and posted US$ 505.78 million PPP in losses.

The report added that more than 526 000 people died as a direct result of more than 11,500 extreme weather events, and losses between 1998 and 2017 amounted to arond US$ 3.47 trillion. It also pointed out that most of the countries up high in the index were vulnerable to tropical cyclones.

These data are congruent with the September 2018 report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which says that an uptick of just 1.5°C in global temperatures can bring about heavier and more intense rainfall in the form of stronger storms, a higher incidence of droughts, and a rise in sea levels.

"The impact of the tropical cyclones in 2017 should send a stark signal that knowledge about and pre-hazard responses to existing vulnerabilities and risk exposure in the Caribbean and other regions remains a critical issue - even more so with the expected increasing impacts of climate change on the behaviour of tropical cyclones," Germanwatch's report said.

In a Monday statement, David Eckstein, Policy Advisor for Climate Finance and Investments of Germanwatch and the lead author of the index, said the effect may extend to developed countries.

"Poor countries are hardest hit. But extreme weather events also threaten the further development of upper middle income countries and can even overburden high income countries," Eckstein said.

The report was published in Katowice, Poland during the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24). The COP is an annual event among world leaders and stakeholders to keep the goal of a global 2°C temperature increase in check, in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement.