- Europe’s Opportunity to Manage Risk and Build Resilience: Recommendations for a European Green Deal
Europe’s Opportunity to Manage Risk and Build Resilience: Recommendations for a European Green Deal
Climate change is a major driver of disaster losses and failed development. It amplifies risk and increases the intensity and frequency of natural hazards. It is changing the way we live, impacting the way societies function, in Europe and beyond. In the European region since the 1980’s climate extremes have caused nearly €500 billion in economic losses, according to the European Environment Agency. Forest fires, large scale floods, storms, heat waves and scorching droughts are affecting large parts of Europe, exposing regions to hazards not traditionally prepared for such risk (e.g. forest res in Northern Europe). Their frequency and scope is projected to increase, and will exceed current capabilities of individual Member States to save lives and limit economic damage. Projections indicate annual damages from coastal floods could be as high as €1 trillion per year, affecting over 3.5 million people. Drought-hit cropland could increase seven-fold, agricultural yields could decline by up to 20%, the land burnt by forest fires could double, and nearly one in two Europeans could be affected by water scarcity.