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According to a report, Europe is not adequately prepared to deal with the increasing risks posed by climate change.
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According to a report, Europe is not adequately prepared to deal with the increasing risks posed by climate change.

According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), Europe is ill-equipped to handle the increasing dangers posed by climate change. This has been highlighted in the agency’s initial risk evaluation.

According to the report, Europe must take additional steps to tackle 18 out of 36 significant climate risks that could have serious consequences, such as destructive wildfires and costly extreme weather events, including impacts on public finances. The report also highlights five risks that require immediate attention.

Leena Ylä-Mononen, executive director of the EEA, stated that their recent examination has revealed that Europe is confronting crucial climate dangers that are advancing at a quicker rate than our readiness as a society.

The report examines the intensity of climate-related dangers and evaluates Europe’s level of readiness in addressing them. It highlights the most urgent risks, which have been exacerbated by the increasing effects of fossil fuel emissions on global warming. These risks include heat-related health issues, sudden and heavy floods, the impact on coastal and marine ecosystems, and the necessity for financial assistance to aid in disaster recovery efforts.

Upon reviewing six identified risks for southern Europe, deemed a “hotspot” region, researchers concluded that immediate measures must be taken to safeguard crops and prevent potential damage to individuals, infrastructure, and the environment caused by wildfires.

According to Robbert Biesbroek from Wageningen University, who co-authored the chapter on Europe in the recent IPCC report on adaptation, there is growing proof of adjustments being made. However, he emphasizes that these efforts are still insufficient.

He expressed concern that the progress is slow and the assistance is not reaching those who need it the most. This is causing him to feel apprehensive.

The report cautions against “domino effect” dangers, noting that the current stress tests in the financial industry are not accurate enough. For example, high temperatures will parch southern Europe, causing crop failures and decreased water resources. However, it will also make the ground harder, contributing to increased chances of sudden floods, and drying out plants, leading to more rapid wildfires.

Governments faced with multiple crises will face even greater resource limitations, as will communities that are unprepared.

According to Blaž Kurnik, the leader of the EEA impacts and adaptation group, policies are not keeping up with the constantly increasing risks.

Europe has heated up more than any other continent since the Industrial Revolution. It has heated about twice as fast as the global average as carbon dioxide has clogged the atmosphere and trapped sunlight.

The scientists examined two potential outcomes of mild and severe warming within the next hundred years. They did not take into account potential tipping points in the climate, stating that the consequences of such drastic shifts would occur over extended periods of time and therefore did not affect the necessity for immediate action.

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Daniela Schmidt, a member of the advisory board at Bristol University, did not contribute to writing the report, but emphasized the significance of its geographical detail. She also raised the question of whether another report on risks was necessary.

She asked: “Will providing more information about our key risks increase action and readiness?”

According to Schmidt, who co-authored the section on Europe in the IPCC report on adaptation, it is important for individuals, governments, and cities to recognize their ability to minimize risks and take action. By doing so, not only can they improve the air quality and housing, but they can also empower people to make a positive change. Schmidt posed the question, “How can we make people more aware of their ability to make a difference?”

The European Commission announced an upcoming communication this week regarding the management of climate risks.

According to the EEA report, multiple climate dangers have already reached critical levels. Without taking immediate action, the report warns that the majority of climate risks could escalate to critical or catastrophic levels by the end of the 21st century.

Ylä-Mononen stated that this should serve as the ultimate alarm.

Source: theguardian.com