The destructive outcomes of climate change have a massive human and economic toll. Low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected, accounting for 85 percent of deaths from natural disasters. It is also estimated that global weather-related losses have increased four-fold from an average of US$50 billion per year in the 1980s to nearly US$200 billion per year over the past decade.
Fortunately, world leaders are awakening to the issue. At the broadest level, a successor to the UN Millennium Development Goals will be finalized by 2015, to guide national plans to eradicate poverty, respond to climate change and strengthen resilience.
In tandem, 160 countries will reconvene in Japan in 2015 to agree on a successor to the 10 year Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), signed in 2005 to build nations’ resilience to disasters. Aligned with the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals, HFA2 will provide direction to help prevent the creation of new risk, reduce existing risk by addressing exposure and vulnerability, and strengthen resilience through social and economic measures — including disaster risk financing and insurance.