Climate change affects us all and is accelerating. Its impacts will become even more severe if the increase in global temperature is not kept below 1.5°C. The EU and its Member States are taking important steps to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

EU's climate targets at a glance

Source: EEA Signals 2022 State of play

What did the summer bring? Is extreme weather the new normal?

Under our changing climate, the weather in Europe is getting more extreme. What could this summer bring in terms of heatwaves, droughts, floods, and forest fires? The overall outlook is pessimistic as we have already seen this past winter and spring. This makes adaptation to climate change and better preparedness crucial, according to a European Environment Agency extreme weather product, which explains the top weather-related climate challenges we face.

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Our climate is changing. Find out what Europe is doing to adapt.

What causes climate change?

By burning fossil fuels, producing goods, cutting down forests, and farming livestock, Earth’s average temperatures are heating up. These activities release massive amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, which increases the greenhouse effect and causes global warming. There are four main types of greenhouse gases created by human activity:

  • Carbon dioxide, stemming mainly from transport, coal, oil, deforestation and natural gas burned to generate heat and electricity;
  • Methane primarily from livestock waste management and fugitives from coal, oil and gas operations;
  • Nitrous oxide from fertiliser use;
  • Fluorinated gases from manufacturing and industry.

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