In its report on Unequal exposure and unequal impacts: social vulnerability to air pollution, noise and extreme temperatures in Europe, the EEA shows that the impacts of extreme temperatures are not equal for all of us.

The uneven health impacts linked to climate change closely reflect the socio‑demographic differences within our society.

  • The elderly, children and those in poor health tend to be more adversely affected by high temperatures than the general population.
  • Groups of lower socio-economic status (the unemployed, those on low incomes or with lower levels of education) tend to be more negatively affected by environmental health hazards, for example through their greater exposure to high temperatures in cities.

There are also pronounced regional differences in social vulnerability and exposure to environmental health hazards across Europe.