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Climate change adaptation

Extreme weather threat makes climate change adaptation a top priority

Climate change is happening now and will get worse in the future, even if global efforts to reduce emissions prove effective. Extreme weather and climate-related events that result in hazards such as floods and droughts will become more frequent and intense in many regions. This leads to many adverse impacts on ecosystems, economic sectors, and human health and well-being. Therefore, actions to adapt to the impacts of climate change are paramount and should be tailored to the specific circumstances in different parts of Europe.

Climate change impacts in Europe

These maps present a story about how Europe might be affected by key climate hazards such as droughts, floods, forest fires and sea level rise during the 21st century and beyond. These maps are based on different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and climate models and have been published already in various EEA reports and indicators.

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The new European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change has elected Professor Ottmar Edenhofer as its chairperson for a term of four years. His task will be to represent the Advisory Board and organise its work, which is to provide the European Union (EU) with independent scientific knowledge, expertise and advice on climate change and climate policies.

The members of the new European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change have been designated today, making the new independent advisory body ready to provide the European Union (EU) with scientific knowledge, expertise and advice relating to climate change. The Advisory Board’s work will underpin the EU’s climate action and efforts to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

Extreme weather events like storms, heatwaves and flooding accounted for economic losses of around half a trillion euros over the past 40 years and led to between 85 000 and 145 000 human fatalities across Europe. Less than one-third of these losses were insured, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis of economic losses and fatalities from weather and climate-related events, published today.

Published: 03 Feb 2022

The EU adaptation strategy aims to build resilience and ensure that Europe is well prepared to manage the risks and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including limiting economic losses and other harms. Europe is facing economic losses and fatalities from weather and climate extremes every year and in all regions of Europe. The data on losses and fatalities is not yet collected or reported in sufficient quality across the EU Member States to support policy decisions, however some private companies collect these data. EEA has access to 2 of these private sources with data for 1980-2020: NatCatSERVICE from Munich Re (since 2012) and CATDAT from Risklayer (since 2021).

Published: 19 Nov 2021

Climate change is happening and we need to get ready for more intense heatwaves, floods and storms, wildfires and water scarcity. Different climate-related hazards affect regions, sectors of the economy and members of society in different ways. Decision-makers need the best data and information to help them understand the imperatives and make the necessary preparations — adapted to the different scenarios and likely consequences, at European, national and sub-national levels. Europe’s changing climate hazards, an interactive index-based EEA report, brings it all together with an overview of past and projected changes in Europe’s most important climate hazards.

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