The United Nations is warning that climate change is threatening the lives of millions of people throughout the world, and that demand for humanitarian aid could rise 50% by 2030.
The U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization released a report Tuesday that found more weather-related disasters such as heat waves, storms and droughts are occurring each year.
“While COVID-19 generated a large international health and economic crisis from which it will take years to recover, it is crucial to remember that climate change will continue to pose an ongoing and increasing threat to human lives, ecosystems, economies and societies for centuries to come,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
The 2020 State of Climate Services Report said 11,000 disasters attributed to weather have taken place over the past 50 years, causing 2 million deaths and $3.6 trillion in economic damage.
The report also said 108 million people worldwide needed humanitarian help in 2018 because of natural disasters.
Despite the increase in weather-related disasters over that period, the report noted that the average number of fatalities from each disaster per year fell by one-third.
In addition to the U.N., the report was prepared by 15 other international agencies and financial institutions. They urge governments to invest more in early-warning systems that can help countries more effectively respond and mitigate the impact of natural disasters.