Tracking Progress on the Economic Costs of Disasters Under the Indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals

totalloss

I have a new peer-reviewed paper just published. It tracks progress with respect to a key indicator of the U.N Sustainable Development Goals, direct disaster losses as a proportion of global GDP. Since 1990, when according to Munich Re their loss dataset begins to become globally complete, the trend in losses as a proportion of global GDP is down. That is good news. There is no guarantee that it will continue, of course.

The last time I published this data, it started a campaign led by the Center for American Progress and several climate scientists to have me fired from my job, ultimately resulting in a Congressional investigation of me and my work. The UN SDGs are obviously really exciting!

Paper linked below, and if you’d like a copy just drop me an email.

R. Pielke, (2019, in press). Tracking Progress on the Economic Costs of Disasters Under the Indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals, Environmental Hazards.

Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals indicator framework identifies as an indicator of progress the objective of reducing disaster losses as a proportion of global gross domestic product. This short analysis presents data on this indicator from 1990. In constant 2017 US dollars, both weather-related and non-weather related catastrophe losses have increased, with a 74% increase in the former and 182% increase in the latter since 1990. However, since 1990 both overall and weather/climate losses have decreased as proportion of global GDP, indicating progress with respect to the SDG indicator. Extending this trend into the future will require vigilance to exposure, vulnerability and resilience in the face of uncertainty about the future frequency and magnitude of extreme events.

4 thoughts on “Tracking Progress on the Economic Costs of Disasters Under the Indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals

  1. Hi Roger,
    “However, since 1990 both overall and weather/climate losses have decreased as proportion of global GDP, indicating progress with respect to the SDG indicator.”

    Unfortunately, I suspect many on the left will hate you forever for this. OK…. many of them hate you already. Still, pointing out that disaster losses should be normalized to GDP, and that there is in fact no temporal trend in normalized losses, is never going to win any popularity contests among the climate woke (AKA ‘the dim green idiots’). Kudos for not folding under pressure..

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  2. From the 1st paragraph of the blog post:
    “Since 1900, when according to Munich Re their loss dataset begins to become globally complete”

    I suspect that the 1900 was meant to be 1990.
    Kind regards.

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  3. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #334 | Watts Up With That?

  4. Considering that almost half of the years covered in the study included a duration that was among the very weakest historical economic growth in both the EU and the USA (the majority of the imdustrialized world), the resulting low denominator tended to only exaggerate global losses as a percent of global GDP. Your point is thereby that much stronger.

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