European Environment Agency says EU is unprepared for climate change

The dangers of climate change are increasing and the European Union is unprepared for extreme heat, forest fires and worse flooding, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said in a report on Monday.

"Our new analysis shows that Europe faces urgent climate risks that are growing faster than our societal preparedness," said EEA director Leena Ylä-Mononen. "To ensure the resilience of our societies, European and national policymakers must act now to reduce climate risks both by rapid emission cuts and by strong adaptation policies and actions."

The EEA's first climate risk assessment shows that everything from public infrastructure and finance to health and the environment is at risk. The report also indicates that increased drought and rising heat jeopardise crop production in southern and central European countries.


Escalating heat threatens energy transmission by damaging electricity lines, while drought is detrimental to energy production in nuclear power plants. Floods can also impact energy production systems in southern Europe.

Extreme heat also has implications for premature mortality, as large portions of the population are exposed to heat stress, especially in the south. The rising temperatures in southern Europe have reached a point where mosquitoes can transmit tropical diseases.

The EEA's warning comes as the European Commission is set to publish a strategy on Tuesday to enhance countries' ability to adapt to climate change. The report underscores the pressing need for coordinated and comprehensive efforts to address the immediate and future challenges posed by climate change in Europe.

The EEA was established in 1990 to provide environmental information to policymakers and the public.


The Ebro reservoir in Villafria, Spain at 32.72 per cent of its capacity due to drought in 2023 © PHOTO ANDER GILLENEA / AFP

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