With nearly four months still to go in 2023, the U.S. has already set a record for the most natural disasters that have cost $1 billion or more in a single year. Since 1980, there have been 371 climate– and weather-related disaster events in the U.S. with costs and damages reaching or exceeding $1 billion, a press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) said. The estimated costs include a consumer price index adjustment. Altogether these disasters cost more than $2.6 trillion. This year, there have been 23 confirmed climate and weather-related disasters in the U.S. that killed a total of 253 people and resulted in losses of more than $1 billion each.
Private equity firms are increasingly profiting from cleaning up climate disasters in the US, while failing to better protect workers and often also investing in the fossil fuels that are causing the climate emergency, new research has found. The demand for skilled disaster restoration or resilience workers, who are mostly immigrants and refugees from Latin America and Asia, is soaring as greenhouse gases released by burning fossil fuels heat the planet, provoking more destructive storms, floods and wildfires. As the disaster industry has become more profitable, at least 72 companies that specialize in disaster cleanups and restoration have been acquired by private equity firms since 2020.