Climate Change and Natural Disasters: Transforming Economies and Policies for a Sustainable Future, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Climate Change and Natural Disasters

Transforming Economies and Policies for a Sustainable Future, 1st Edition

By Vinod Thomas


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New in Paperback: 9781138567351
pub: 2018-02-05
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pub: 2017-01-01

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The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license

The start of the new millennium will be remembered for deadly climate-related disasters - the great floods in Thailand in 2011, Super Storm Sandy in the United States in 2012, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, to name a few. In 2014, 17.5 million people were displaced by climate-related disasters, ten times more than the 1.7 million displaced by geophysical hazards. What is causing the increase in natural disasters and what effect does it have on the economy? Climate Change and Natural Disasters sends three messages: human-made factors exert a growing influence on climate-related disasters; because of the link to anthropogenic factors, there is a pressing need for climate mitigation; and prevention, including climate adaptation, ought not to be viewed as a cost to economic growth but as an investment. Ultimately, attention to climate-related disasters, arguably the most tangible manifestation of global warming, may help mobilize broader climate action. It can also be instrumental in transitioning to a path of low-carbon, green growth, improving disaster resilience, improving natural resource use, and caring for the urban environment. Vinod Thomas proposes that economic growth will become sustainable only if governments, political actors, and local communities combine natural disaster prevention and controlling climate change into national growth strategies. When considering all types of capital, particularly human capital, climate action can drive economic growth, rather than hinder it.


A highly authoritative, lucid, and timely analysis of the implications of climate change and disasters for sustainable development—the universally accepted path for humanity in the 21st century.

Mohan Munasinghe, Chairman, Munasinghe Institute for Development

A thought-provoking examination of the links between climate change and natural disasters, and how to tackle both. Its call for greater investments in natural capital, "nature’s infrastructure"—in addition to physical and human capital—to meet these critical 21st century challenges is particularly timely and welcome.

Inger Andersen, Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature

Recent extreme climate impacts in Asia and across the world underscore the urgent need to act on climate change. Policymakers need every resource available to put in place effective policies and incentives to achieve the vision outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, and this book holds great potential to secure the practical pathways that can turn the Paris vision into reality.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

This is a timely and engagingly written book on an important topic of increasing international concern.

Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University

A compelling evidence-based call to action on the climate-natural disaster link. A must-read for development economists and advocates in rich and poor countries alike.

Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development

Table of Contents

1. Overview 2. The Anatomy of Climate-Related Natural Disasters 3. The Rising Threat of Climate-Related Natural Disasters; Global 4. Climate Change Mitigation 5. Climate Adaptation and Disaster Management 6. Transforming Mindsets 7. A New Development Paradigm

About the Author

Vinod Thomas was formerly Senior Vice President at the World Bank and Director General at the Asian Development Bank. He is the author of 15 books and numerous peer-reviewed articles on subjects ranging from macroeconomic policy and trade policy to urban policy, agriculture, and the environment.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Leadership