International Environment Reporter™ helps you understand environmental laws, regulations, policies and trends in major industrialized and developing nations, as well as in international governmental...
Europe is increasingly seeing the effects of global warming in more frequent extreme weather, changing ecosystems and rising economic and health costs, according to a report the European Environment Agency published Jan. 25.
Global warming’s greatest effects are being felt in Europe’s Mediterranean regions, with more heat waves, droughts and forest fires, declining crop yields and higher heat-related premature mortality, the report said.
In addition, coastal areas and floodplains in western Europe are suffering more flooding, and Alpine regions are seeing shrinking glaciers, the upward migration of plants and animals, and reduced revenues from ski tourism because of decreasing snow cover and earlier melting of snow.
Economic costs from “climate-related extreme events” in the 28 European Union countries and non-EU states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have amounted to 400 billion euros ($430 billion) since 1980, according to the report.
“European land temperatures in the decade 2006–2015 were around 1.5 °C [2.7 degrees Fahrenheit] warmer than the pre-;industrial level, and they are projected to continue increasing by more than the global average temperature increase,” said the report. “Europe has experienced several extreme summer heat waves since 2003, which have led to high mortality and economic impacts. Heat waves of a similar or larger magnitude are projected to occur as often as every two years in the second half of the 21st century under a high emissions scenario. The impacts will be particularly strong in southern Europe.”
The report showed the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and “ensuring that we have the right adaptation strategies and policies in place to reduce the risks from current and project climate extremes,” EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx said.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, published a climate adaptation strategy in 2013 that called on EU countries to prepare national adaptation plans, and said if national plans were not in place by 2017, or if the plans were insufficient, legislation could be proposed to make the drawing up of national strategies mandatory.
In 2013, the commission said 15 EU countries had national adaptation strategies, most of which were in preliminary form.
As of May 2016, this number had risen to 20, with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg and Slovenia still lacking a plan, according to the EEA report.
The commission is expected to publish an evaluation of its 2013 climate adaptation strategy, including possible legislative measures on planning for the impacts of climate change, during the second half of 2017.
The EEA report on the impacts of climate change in Europe is the fourth in a series of reports published every four years.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gardner in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Henderson at email@example.com
The EEA report on climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016 is available at http://bit.ly/2jQte3R.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)