Brussels – The European Environment Agency today published its first-ever European Climate Risk Assessment, containing stark warnings about catastrophic and urgent dangers from a warming planet. The European Commission is doing far too little to avoid and prepare Europe for the dangers of water shortages and other major climate risks, warns Greenpeace. 

The Commission’s ‘climate resilience’ plans, due to be published on 12 March, are mostly devoid of concrete proposals, according to reporting in Bloomberg and Politico. The EU executive also shelved a promised plan specifically on water resilience, which it had intended to publish on the same day.

Europe is set to suffer temperature increases double that of other continents, as the climate changes due to the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests, oceans and soils. This leaves the continent and its inhabitants more vulnerable to the effects of a heating planet.

Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said: “The EU’s environment experts are warning about ‘short-term’ climate disasters between now and 2040, but President von der Leyen can’t even see past June’s elections. Europe is woefully unprepared for the increase in droughts, wildfires, floods and storms – and instead of acting now, von der Leyen has delayed, diluted or dropped plans that could prevent such disasters. Only by urgently protecting soils, waterways and forests, and giving space to more natural habitats overall, can people in Europe hope to avoid the most dramatic climate impacts that are already heading down the tracks towards us.”

Next steps

The European Commission is set to publish its ‘climate resilience’ plans on 12 March. Both the European Parliament’s environment committee and the environment ministers of the EU’s national governments are expected to discuss the Commission’s proposal. Environment ministers will meet on 25 March and 17 June, and the Parliament’s environment committee will meet on 19 March, 4 April and 9 April. 


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