Peter Pavlovic: The impact of climate change – Is Europe ready?
Climate change has an increasing impact on daily life. We are already facing consequences; some them go beyond usual way of looking at the policies, as well as our daily action. This was the main argument in presentation of the new report of the European Environmental Agency ‘Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016.’ The indicator based report was presented a couple of days ago in Brussels.
Hans Bruyninckx, the Executive Director of the Agency underlined in his opening words how important is to keep eye on impacts of climate change especially in current situation around. The report presents a comprehensive summary of facts demonstrating impacts of climate change in our continent accompanied by projections for upcoming decades. The report provides knowledge base for policy framing in the EU, as well as a collection of data for all interested in the subject. To key findings belong e.g. the documentation of sea level rise, change of precipitation patters, increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, or loss of biodiversity. Interesting are those parts of the report indicating climate change impacts in areas which have been by now not very often in the centre of attention, as for example spread of infectious diseases or impacts on agriculture. Perhaps the most interesting parts of the report are those dealing with impacts of climate change on other sectors of human activities and policy making, as social impacts, especially in terms of migration, impacts on finance – need of an increase of funds needed for adaptation efforts and for insurance, or impacts on economies.
The value of the report, as it was underlined by Jos Delbeke, the Director General for Climate Action in the European commission, is in emphasis on adaptation. Adaption on climate change is as important as mitigation. It was admitted that EU policies are not yet geared towards what we are going to face in terms of climate change. More efforts of the EU is needed especially in mainstreaming of climate policies into other policy sectors. The meeting underlined at the same time the importance of non-state actors in addressing the impacts of climate change. More information and the full text of the report is available here.
Peter Pavlovic, ECEN Secretary