Commission sets out key steps for managing climate risks to protect people and prosperity

March 12, 2024. The European Commission has today published a Communication on managing climate risks in Europe. It sets out how the EU and its Member States can better anticipate, understand, and address growing climate risks. It further presents how they can prepare and implement policies that save lives, cut costs, and protect prosperity across the EU.

The Communication responds to the first ever European Climate Risk Assessment (EUCRA), a scientific report by the European Environment Agency. Together, they are a call to action for all levels of government, as well as the private sector and civil society. They set out clearly how all major sectors and policy areas are exposed to climate-related risks, how severe and urgent the risks are, and how important it is to have clarity on who has the responsibility to address the risks.

2023 was the hottest year on record. According to the February report by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, the global average temperature for the preceding 12 months had surpassed the threshold of 1.5 degrees set in the Paris Agreement. As the EU is taking comprehensive action to reduce its emissions and limit climate change, we must also take action to adapt to already unavoidable changes, and to protect people and prosperity. According to the Eurobarometer survey, 77% of Europeans see climate change as a very serious problem, and more than one in three Europeans (37%) already feel personally exposed to climate risks.

Today's Communication shows how the EU can effectively get ahead of the risks and build greater climate resilience. The Commission is proposing a series of actions and will work with other EU Institutions, Member States, regional and local authorities, citizens and businesses to follow up on these suggestions.

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