IPCC Releases Statement on Trends in Disaster Losses

25 January 2010: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a statement on trends in disaster losses.

The statement was made in response to an article by Jonathan Leake titled “UN Wrongly Linked Global Warming to Natural Disasters,” published in the Sunday Times on 24 January 2010. In its statement, the IPCC states that "the Sunday Times article gets the story wrong on two key points." First, as the Panel highlights, the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) discusses the role of climate change in extreme events in many sections, and not only in the section under question, concerning trends in economic losses from climate-related disasters. According to the IPCC, each of these sections is "a careful assessment of the available evidence, with a thorough consideration of the confidence with which each conclusion can be drawn." Second, the IPCC states that the Sunday Times article is "a baseless attack" and that the section on trends in economic losses from disasters in the AR4 is "a balanced treatment," which "clearly makes the point that one study detected an increase in economic losses [..] but that other studies have not detected such a trend." The Panel also notes that in writing, reviewing and editing this section, it carefully followed all procedures. [IPCC Statement on Trends in Disaster Losses]