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Red Cross claims of increasing climate disasters is “grossly misleading”

Press Release, Global Warming Policy Forum

GWPF calls for the withdrawal of Red Cross report based on unethical  practices

London, 20 November: A new report from the Red Cross, which alleges a 35% increase in the number of climate and weather-related disasters since 1990, was today slammed for misleading the public.

According to GWPF director, Dr Benny Peiser, climate-related disasters have actually declined by 15% in the last 20 years.

UN data shows that “climate-related” disasters have declined over the past 20 years (2000-2019)

The authors of the Red Cross report have used the EM-DAT dataset which shows a significant decline in climate-related disasters since 2000. It is generally acknowledged that the dataset is unreliable before 2000. In fact, the Red Cross’s own report documents a pronounced  decline in climate and weather-related disasters since that time, so they have grossly misled the public,” Dr Peiser said.

Figure 1.1 shows significant decline in climate and weather related disasters since 2000. World Disasters Report ‘Come Heat or High Water’, Geneva 2020

Any credible assessment of the link between global warming and natural disasters should also highlight the remarkable decline in the number of people dying from climate disasters, showing a sharp and continuing decline in the last 100 years, despite the rise in global temperatures.

Global annual number of deaths from natural disasters by decade. Source Our World in Data

This is the second major report that has led to allegations of deception. Just six weeks ago the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) was publicly humiliated when its report was accused of using the same unethical tricks to make claims of increasing climate disasters.

Remarkably, UNDRR is one of the sponsoring organisations of the Red Cross report. 

This is another intercontinental shambles” said Dr Peiser.

The Red Cross should withdraw its report or face accusations of using unethical practices to mislead the public.”


The report, World Disasters Report 2020: Come Heat or High Water is published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, 2020.