If this summer has shown us anything, it’s a glimpse of the sort of havoc the planet faces if the climate emergency is not fixed fast.
Apocalyptic forest fires, floods and drought are laying waste to swathes of Greece, Canada, Turkey, China, Argentina and the United States. Extreme weather consequences include deaths, homelessness, social unrest and rising government debt.
The climate emergency will raise costs everywhere: insurance covers just 60% of disaster-linked losses even in rich North America; it falls to 10% in China, Swiss Re estimates. Worse still, the fires are exacerbating emissions, while forests meant to act as carbon sinks will take decades to regrow.
Until now, warnings, including a recent United Nations one, have had limited impact. But with a global climate conference due in November, this summer’s climate disasters might well swing the pendulum.