Since 1980, billion-dollar weather and climate disasters (hurricanes, severe storms, drought, flooding, wildfire, winter storms, and freezing) have led to $2.2 trillion in losses. Between 2017 and 2021, annual losses from billion-dollar disasters totaled $765 billion in losses and more than 4500 deaths. This is almost 8 times higher than in the 1980s. Not only are the events increasing in both occurrence and intensity, they are disproportionately impacting our communities. This report, prepared by PSE Health Energy for E2, aims to summarize the scale of weather and climate damage across the United States, the risk of escalating costs in a warming climate, and the need to invest in both climate mitigation and adaptation.
We chose to focus this year’s Resilient Virginia Conference on the numerous economic opportunities that currently exist for building community resilience in the state. Let’s be clear – businesses and communities will increasingly face risks in infrastructure damage, supply chain disruptions, and the toll on workers. However, by taking advantage of economic opportunities, they can begin to address the risks they are facing.