Climate Change: State of the Climate in Asia 2020 Report – Know Key Highlights

India suffered an average annual economic loss of $87 billion due to extreme weather events, states UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) report ‘State of the Climate in Asia 2020’.

Updated: Oct 29, 2021 22:29 IST
Climate Change: State of the Climate in Asia 2020 Report, Source: WMO
Climate Change: State of the Climate in Asia 2020 Report, Source: WMO

Climate Change: Ahead of the UN COP26 in Glasgow, the United Nations (UN) World Meteorological Organization published its annual ‘State of the Climate in Asia 2020’ report on October 26, 2021. The report stated that extreme weather events due to climate change cost Asia wherein India suffered an average annual economic loss (AAL) of approximately $87 billion. For India, damage induced by weather-related events accounted for a loss of more than 0.8 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was highest in the Asia region.

The State of the Climate in Asia 2020 report by WMO stated that extreme weather events such as floods, tropical cyclones, droughts due triggered due to climate change impacted Asia in 2020 which led to the loss of life, displacement of millions, cost hundreds of billions of dollars and damaged infrastructure and ecosystems. These events threatened sustainable development, food and water security, accelerated health risks, and environmental degradation.

Also read: Climate Change: UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2021 – Top 10 Key Highlights


India suffered an average annual loss (AAL) of approximately $87 billion

The WMO’s report State of the Climate in Asia 2020 calculated the total average annual economic loss (AAL) due to climate-related events in Asia. Three countries in Asia reported a cumulative loss of $408 billion annually due to extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones, droughts, and floods

India suffered $87 billion annually while China lost $238 billion annually and Japan lost $83 billion annually.

As per the report, drought was responsible for 82 per cent of India and China’s average annual economic loss (AAL) in 2020. Floods and storms accounted for affecting approximately 50 million people in Asia and causing 5,000 human deaths.

Flood and storms caused India to suffer the maximum economic loss of $26.3 billion followed by China ($23.1 billion).

India along with China and Bangladesh also reported for most of the disaster-related displacement globally in 2020. The damage due to weather-related events was significant when it was translated into the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). In that case, the damages in India, Bangladesh, Iran, and Pakistan exceeded 0.5 per cent of GDP.

The report further noted that the cyclone Amphan caused major damage in the coastal areas of India and Bangladesh during the COVID-19 period in May 2020. In India, around 13.6 million people were impacted and damages totaled to $14 billion.

Also read: CoP26: What is the UN Climate Conference and Why is it significant?- Know in detail

Asia slumped on Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action)

The WMO’s report State of the Climate in Asia 2020 noted that Asia witnessed the hottest year on record in 2020. The region witnessed the warmest year with the mean temperate 1.39 degrees Celsius above as compared to the 1981-2010 average.

Asia has also shown a decline in Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action) in 4 of its 5 sub-regions: South and South-West Asia, South-East Asia, North and Central Asia, East and North-East Asia.

COVID-19 impacted the progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific region. “This includes SDG Goal 13 on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts,” said WMO.

The report highlighted the need to ensure that these regions reverse this decline to achieve target 13.1 on climate resilience and adaptive capacity as well as other resilience targets (target 11.5 and target 1.5).

Also read: IPCC Climate Change 2021 Report: Human activities are making extreme weather events more frequent, severe

What is State of the Climate in Asia 2020 report?

The State of the Climate in Asia 2020 report is prepared by the UN World Meteoritical Organization (WMO). It compiles an overview of ocean and land temperatures, glacier retreat, precipitation, sea-level rise, shrinking sea ice, and severe weather.

The report also examines the socio-economic impacts across the Asia region in a year. The year 2020 also covered the impact that countries suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic that worsened the disaster management tasks.

Also read: India-US jointly launch Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue of Agenda 2030 Partnership

Also read: Delhi Government to implement new 10-year climate action plan by year-end

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