What is the trend in economic losses from climate-related extremes in Europe?

Policy Question
Indicator codes: CSI 042 , CLIM 039

Key messages

    • In the EEA member countries (EEA-33), the total reported economic losses caused by weather and climate-related extremes over the period 1980-2017 amounted to approximately EUR 453 billion (in 2017 Euro values). 
    • Average annual economic losses in the EEA member countries varied between EUR 7.4 billion over the period 1980-1989, EUR 13.4 billion (1990-1999) and EUR 14.0 billion (2000-2009). Between 2010 and 2017, average annual losses were around EUR 13.0 billion. This high variability makes the analysis of historical trends difficult, since the choice of years heavily influences the trend outcome.
    • The observed variations in reported economic losses over time are difficult to interpret since a large share of the total deflated losses has been caused by a small number of events. Specifically, more than 70 % of economic losses were caused by less than 3 % of all unique registered events.
    • In the EU Member States (EU-28), disasters caused by weather and climate-related extremes accounted for some 83 % of the monetary losses over the period 1980-2017. Weather and climate-related losses amounted to EUR 426 billion (at 2017 values).
    • The most expensive climate extremes in the EU Member States include the 2002 flood in Central Europe (over EUR 21 billion), the 2003 drought and heat wave (almost EUR 15 billion), and the 1999 winter storm Lothar and October 2000 flood in Italy and France (both EUR 13 billion), all at 2017 values.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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