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UN Claim”Staggering Rise In Climate Emergencies Since 2000”

October 13, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 In a blatantly political report, the UN claim that “climate emergencies” have seen a staggering rise in the last 20 years:



In an urgent call for countries to prepare better for all catastrophic events – from earthquakes and tsunamis to biological threats such as the new coronavirus – data from the UN Office on Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) indicates that wealthy nations have done little to tackle the harmful emissions that are linked to climate threats which make up the bulk of disasters today.

Short odds

“Disaster management agencies have succeeded in saving many lives through improved preparedness and the dedication of staff and volunteers. But the odds continue to be stacked against them, in particular by industrial nations that are failing miserably on reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mami Mizutori, UNDRR chief, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

According to the UNDRR report – produced with Belgium’s Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at UCLouvain – there were 7,348 recorded disaster events worldwide, during the last two decades. 

Approximately 1.23 million people died – approximately 60,000 per year – with more than four billion affected in total; many more than once. 

These two decades of disaster also caused $2.97 trillion in losses to the global economy, with data also indicating that poorer nations experienced deaths rates more than four times higher than richer nations.

By comparison, the previous 20-year period (1980 to 1999) saw 4,212 reported disasters from natural hazards, with 1.19 million deaths, more than three billion people affected and economic losses totalling $ 1.63 trillion. 

Climate danger spike

Although better recording and reporting of disasters may help explain some of the increase in the last two decades, researchers insisted that the significant rise in climate-related emergencies was the main reason for the spike, with floods accounting for more than 40 per cent of disasters – affecting 1.65 billion people – storms 28 per cent, earthquakes (eight per cent) and extreme temperatures (six per cent).

“This is clear evidence that in a world where the global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period, the impacts are being felt in the increased frequency of extreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts, flooding, winter storms, hurricanes and wildfires,” UNDRR reported .

Despite the pledge made by the international community in Paris in 2015 to reduce global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, Ms. Mizutori added that it was “baffling” that nations were continuing knowingly “to sow the seeds of our own destruction, despite the science and evidence that we are turning our only home into an uninhabitable hell for millions of people”.


Amazingly the UNDRR report itself shows the claim to be nonsense:


Since 2000, the trend in the number of disasters has actually been downwards, clearly debunking any pretence that weather is getting worse because of global warming.

The report even specifically accepts this:


  So how does the UN justify its claim? Quite simply, they have compared two periods, 1980 – 1999 with 2000 – 2019:



Note that despite the claimed increase in disasters, the death toll has nearly halved. Given that the number of disasters has not increased since 2000, we are expected to believe there was a sudden jump prior to 2000.

And EM-DAT’s 2004 report,Thirty years of natural disasters 1974-2003 , explains just why:





Put simply, many more disasters are recorded nowadays because of better reporting systems. But this does not mean more are actually occurring.

EM-DAT’s 2006 report noted this as well:


Annual Disaster Statistical Review 2006”

You’ll notice in Fig 2 that there is a sharp jump in 1999/2000. That is no coincidence either. According to that 2006 report, EM-DAT only began publishing statistics on disasters in 1998, following funding from USAID:


Prior to 1998, the whole operation of EM-DAT was hit and miss. EM-DAT’s definition of a disaster includes extremely tiny, local events now. It simply is not conceivable that such tiny events would have been always recorded in the past.





Debarati Guha-Sapir, Professor, Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, who co-authored this latest report, knows all of this, because she also wrote the earlier reports in 2004 and 2006, So why is she now claiming there has been a  staggering rise in climate-related disasters over the last twenty years?

The GWPF have labelled the report a “huge blunder and embarrassment”, and called for it to be withdrawn.


There is sadly little prospect of that, because the report was written to promote the UN’s own political agenda, as the Foreword makes clear:


  1. Tommy Stewart permalink
    October 13, 2020 12:35 pm

    I have been complaining to the Daily Telegraph that is giving publicity to articles like this and multiple articles about wind power, solar power etc often with no opportunity to reply. They appear to have totally been bought by those pushing for unreliable expensive power and the carbon zero doomsday cult.

    • October 14, 2020 12:40 pm

      I have now, as an erstwhile regular reader of the Telegraph, cancelled my subscription for these reasons. The editorial mindset, to me, seems to have been seriously infected by the CAGW Virus and its political agenda. Very sad.

  2. Mack permalink
    October 13, 2020 12:38 pm

    I think we should all aim to go back to the glorious benign weather of 1987 when, according to Hansen et al, C02 was at the ideal level of 350 ppm – you know the year when Southern England got wrecked by the worst storm in 3 centuries, 6 super typhoons caused $1.4 billion dollars worth of damage and many fatalities across the Pacific, Hurricane Floyd said hello to the Florida Keys, etc etc ….oh, wait!

    • Broadlands permalink
      October 13, 2020 1:04 pm

      Mack… To return to 350 ppm would require the permanent and safe geological burial of 65 ppm or ~500 billion tons of CO2 under pressure. Lowering CO2 emissions won’t lower any of that, not even one ppm.

      • Mack permalink
        October 13, 2020 1:12 pm

        Indeed, and still the fools in charge whittle on about carbon capture and storage. Not only comically, I mean, economically ruinous to even attempt to do it at scale but practically impossible and it won’t do anything to change the weather.

      • October 13, 2020 3:35 pm

        …..other than the fact that there is still NO empirical data based proof that CO2 increase is anything other than a benefit…plants definitely think so!

        This is pure bluster by people who either do not have a clue or willful take reality out of context. Geological time tells us what is “normal” and 350ppm is NOT and to use their own language a “crisis” level, if life on Earth is any interest to them.

        The average level for atmospheric CO2 over geological time is….wait for it…2500ppm. There is only one other time in geological history when atmospheric CO2 was as low as today and that was back in the Ordovician.

        This is a perfect example of junk science with numbers pulled out of hats. If they want to find an optimal concentration, then it should be around the historical average, certainly not within a few percentage points of mass extinction! What planet are these people on?

        Geological history is the only yardstick for measuring and comparing Earth Processes. It also gives context to the concentration and the reason why it is what it is today. It tells us that for 160 million years, since the Mid Jurassic there has been a developing problem with the Carbon Cycle with CO2 being actively removed from the system and locked up in organic carbonaceous rock. This has resulted in a linear decrease in the atmospheric CO2 level to the point during the first part of the current Ice Age it came to within 20ppm of photosynthesis stopping and consequently the extinction of life on Earth. Anyone who deliberately does not view Earth Processes in a geological context is not seeking scientific truth but pursuing a political agenda.

  3. Jackington permalink
    October 13, 2020 12:38 pm

    I’m sure I am not alone in disbelieving every word emanating from the UN.

    • October 13, 2020 1:42 pm

      The disastrous UN, that is. Self-perpetuating bureaucracies rarely impress.

  4. Pancho Plail permalink
    October 13, 2020 12:43 pm

    I fail to see how geophysical and hydrological effects can be laid at the door of climate change, but they do make the numbers more scary.

  5. JimW permalink
    October 13, 2020 12:44 pm

    Most of these incoherent reports are written entirely to include a quote or two for the massmedia to take out of context and repeat endlessly to the world.
    Its a game, a very nasty one, to help indoctrinate.

  6. Mark Winthrop permalink
    October 13, 2020 12:49 pm

    You mean well but keep presenting things in a counter productive manner.
    Laying out your precis on the clearly spurious UN man made disasters report goes on far too long and almosts gives it credibility. Also how many of your audience are left after such a long report laying out the UN false claims?
    The press must read your posts, but again how many are still reading your piece after laying out the UN piece of fiction in huge detail?
    Your rebuttel comes way down your piece long after i fear you have lost your audience.
    I am a huge admirer of what you do but hate the way you cut the ground from under your arguments by your method of presentation.
    Summarise the key report in headlines and immediately after enter your. counter claims.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 13, 2020 1:28 pm

      The presentation is fine as it lays out claim and then rebuts it with the truth. The press won’t read anything on this site as journalists are ignorant and incompetent, and wish to remain so. Harsh on journalists? No, I doubt it and this week gives you a classic example. I can be almost certain that every newspaper and every news broadcast will refer to ‘an EU summit’ taking place in their Brexit coverage. No such event is taking place this week. What the morons are referring to is the scheduled meeting of the European Council which forms part of the management of the EU. If they can’t get the simple things right after decades of membership, what hope for anything complex.

    • October 13, 2020 3:56 pm


      the presentation of data MUST be in context to give validity. That you may not be used to seeing an argument correctly laid out is a personal issue not a fault of Paul’s presentation. Just because you may be used to the questionable and emotional language charged distortion of science that proliferates within the outpourings of the Climate Fiction Factory does not mean that should be the standard for others to follow.

      I think Paul does pretty well to put together an argued response….compare his man hours and cost to the man hours which went into the UN report clearly over written by politicians sexing it up as is standard in the IPCC. People have this odd idea that the IPCC is a scientific organisation. It is a political organisation, the clue is in the title. They take cherry picked scientific and statistical output and then non scientists rewrite it often taking reality totally out of context. Ask yourself why scientists alone do not write IPCC output? Why scientists alone do not front the Climate Factory? Ask yourself the fundamental question as to why the UN and IPCC built a conclusion into their framing documentation limiting any possibility to find the truth because politics not the truth is what the IPCC is about.

      As to the reason why scientists are not the default front of this perverse extravaganza is that they would have to behave as scientists and mount a defence of their findings while providing open access to their methodologies and data. Remember Mark, the most important part of any research or collection of data is not the data but the methodology(s) by which the data was collected and then how the data is then used.

      A well reasoned empirical data based response “should” be picked up by the media. The fact it is not is not due to the style of presentation but rather because the response simply says things which do not fit the paradigm. Several media outlets including the bankrupt BBC and Guardian and now Telegraph have made it clear that they will ONLY pay lip service to one side of the argument. Write any rubbish full of baseless claims and emotion…like this and you are guaranteed an audience from the pushers of the political agenda

      If you need bullet points and emotion then no credible source of information will provide only that.

      • October 14, 2020 12:47 pm

        + 100
        The UN and its acolytes has its beady eye on the global levers of power.

  7. Charlie Moncur permalink
    October 13, 2020 1:23 pm

    Time to disband the UN and the parasitic hoards that feed off its table? A gaggle of non producers who if they all disappeared tomorrow no one would notice !!

  8. Broadlands permalink
    October 13, 2020 1:43 pm

    “This is clear evidence that in a world where the global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period…”

    Pre-industrial used to be 14.0°C. Jones et al. 1999.

    “Please note: the estimate for the baseline global temperature used in this study differed, and was warmer than, the baseline estimate (Jones et al., 1999) used currently. This report has been superseded by subsequent analyses. However, as with all climate monitoring reports, it is left online as it was written at the time.”

    “The global average temperature of 62.45 degrees Fahrenheit for 1997 was the warmest year on record, surpassing the previous record set in 1995 by 0.15 degrees Fahrenheit.”

    16.92°C…a tad more than 1.1°C.

  9. October 13, 2020 1:57 pm

    This will end when statistics are outlawed. Only then.

    • October 13, 2020 4:36 pm

      leis, damned lies and statistics!

    • David Girgo permalink
      October 13, 2020 7:18 pm

      It’s not the statistics, it’s the gross misapplication of such! A comparison requires comparable sets of data.

  10. Penda100 permalink
    October 13, 2020 2:33 pm

    I assume the disasters include the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Some 250,000 deaths or 20% of the deaths claimed by the report during the 21st century. And all down to AGW / Climate Emergency. The report truly stinks.

  11. October 13, 2020 4:52 pm

    Calling it a blunder implies that the claims were “accidentally” wrong. How is this possible when the report has been seen by quite a few smart people before publication?

    It is not long since the IPPR report which also breathlessly reported a massive increase in disasters – again because the database was incomplete in earlier decades.

    If this is accidental, it is staggering incompetence, bearing in mind how recently the IPPR debacle was.

  12. Gamecock permalink
    October 13, 2020 10:13 pm

    ‘Staggering Rise In Climate Emergencies Since 2000’

    One would have to not know the definition of climate to make such a stupid statement.

    Weather can produce emergencies. Climate . . . wait . . . the generalized weather of an area or region . . . emergencies in the generalized weather? Wat?

  13. George Jenatsch permalink
    October 14, 2020 6:21 am

    According to the report, the increase in the number of deaths was less than 4%. Between 2000 and 2020 the world population grew by almost 30%.

  14. manicbeancounter permalink
    October 15, 2020 2:06 am

    This is not the first time that the EM-DAT database has been misused.
    Two years ago, the IPPR (using graphics that orginated in a presentation investor Jeremy Grantham gave to investors) claimed a dramatic increase in extreme weather events since 1950. The reality is that the database (which includes many sorts of disasters & starts in 1900) has benefited from vastly improved & more systematic reporting of disasters since the 1980s. Despite this the number of reported deaths in all types of disasters (including earthquakes) has plummeted. I looked at this in the following post.

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