JRC Science Policy – Climate change impacts and adaptation in Europe

Climate change is one of the biggest threats for humanity, seriously affecting people and nature. With the Green Deal for Europe the EU strives for keeping our planet healthy and aspires to become the first carbon-neutral continent in the world by 2050. Despite this ambition and the target of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change1 to keep global warming well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide are still growing. Global temperature is now around 1°C higher compared to the preindustrial era and if adequate mitigation strategies are not introduced, global warming could reach 3°C or more by the end of this century.

The primary purpose of the PESETA IV study is to better understand the implications of climate change for the EU. Looking at a range of impact categories this report communicates what sectors and regions of the EU could be most affected and how mitigation and adaptation options can avoid the adverse effects of climate change.

Key findings

  1. Ecosystems, people and economies in the EU are projected to face major impacts from unmitigated climate change.
  2. The burden of climate change shows a clear north-south divide, with southern regions in Europe impacted more. The south of Europe is expected to suffer relatively more than other parts of Europe with increasing levels of global warming, in large because of consequent changes in high-end temperatures and the spatial and temporal availability of water.
  3. Climate mitigation can considerably lower the impacts of climate change in the EU.
  4. Climate change adaptation can reduce unavoidable impacts of climate change in the EU in a cost-efficient way.

You can read full report here.

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