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26 May 2013
Severe weather resulting from climate change will continue to devastate the globe, Lloyd’s has warned insurers.
In a report coinciding with the Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development last week, Lloyd’s says it believes insurance has a vital role to play in helping business and communities adapt to the effects of climate change.
It says wildfires affected parts of Russia, Spain, France, Greece and Italy between 2009 and 2011, and there is growing evidence that prolonged heatwaves will cause more wildfires.
Floods have affected southern India, Thailand, Mississippi, China, Italy and the Czech Republic since 2009 and the severity of flooding is affecting a growing number of people globally.
The incidence and severity of drought is increasing across Europe, the southwestern US and West Africa.
Drought also leads to subsidence in parts of Europe and subsidence-related claims have risen 50% in France in the past 20 years.
Southern US farmers lose 64% of their soybean crop to invasive weeds, and as climate change encourages weeds to spread north, there are significant consequences for food supply, the report says.
The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on earth. As it becomes less white it is absorbing more heat and reflecting less away from the Earth. The report says this is likely to increase the rate of warming globally.
Lloyd’s says it is possible that climate change is increasing the severity of tropical storms, which have caused substantial flooding and damage in recent years.
It also warns the frequency of heatwaves could also increase substantially if carbon dioxide and other gases continue to be produced at today’s levels.
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