The global climate change crisis is the defining crisis of our time, and it is happening more quickly than was ever anticipated. Every year, millions of lives are disrupted by increasingly frequent and severe climate change disasters including heatwaves, hurricanes, floods, and forest fires.
According to the UN’s latest assessment, a lot of the damages caused by global warming to the natural environment are now considered “irreversible". However, to reverse or avert the economic loss and infrastructure damages caused by extreme weather events, there must be a call for civic, environmental, and financial responsibility.
Damages caused by extreme weather events linked to climate change result in phenomenal social and financial costs. For example, the losses from the severe flooding in Pakistan in 2022 are estimated to cost up to US$40 billion, negatively impacting 33 million lives. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign affairs reported the loss of 1,600 lives, the destruction of over 2 million houses, damages to 13,000km of roads, and 18,000 km2 of cropland with up to US$2.3 billion in crop losses.
Amidst climate change mitigation efforts, the London School of Economics suggests that developing countries may still face losses and damages costing between USD290 and 580 billion in 2030 and USD1–1.8 trillion in 2050. In Nigeria, extreme flooding submerged areas in 30 of the country’s 36 states, affecting 7 million people and leading to over 400 deaths.
According to Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the destruction and damage to about 597,476 houses left 1.3 million Nigerians displaced with an estimated USD17 billion in damages.