The Hefty Bill of Climate Change
According to the European Environment Agency (EEA) southern and southeastern regions of Europe will face the continent's most adverse effects from climate change. In fact today, a majority of experts believe that all European regions are vulnerable to climate change. Climate-related extreme events accounted for more than $400 billion of economic losses between 1980 and 2013 in the 33 EEA member countries. The 3 most affected countries were Germany ($81Bn), Italy ($63Bn) and France ($55Bn). And, obviously, the cost of these climate disruptions is set to increase significantly in the coming years. More precisely, 19 European coastal cities such as Barcelona, London, Dublin and Rotterdam would have to spend more than $40 billion per year to combat the effects of climate change. And indeed, the EU-funded ClimateCost project emphasized that on average 345,000 people -every year- could be hit by coastal and river flooding in Europe by 2050. Worldwide, more than 160 million people are at risk due to sea level rise. In addition, and despite estimates that are difficult to establish, high agricultural losses caused by adverse weather conditions must be expected. In terms of the human dimension, the predicted influx of climate refugees must be right now a matter of serious concern to the international community. But we must also look at the current situation realistically. Even a strict implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change cannot ensure that we will be able to stop the climate disruptions which are already under way. But what is clear is that each country cannot do as it sees fit and set its own strategy, when the problem affects the entire planet.