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EU proposes key steps to manage climate risks to protect people and prosperity

  • EU proposes key steps to manage climate risks to protect people and prosperity

About the entity

European Commission
The European Commission is the EU's executive arm. It takes decisions on the Union's political and strategic direction.

2023 was the hottest year on record. Europe is facing the effects of climate change with extreme weather events like floods and wildfires. It is therefore no surprise that in a recent 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. 

The Commission seeks to address these concerns and to respond to the first-ever European Climate Risk Assessment by the European Environment Agency with a Communication on managing climate risks in Europe that sets out how the EU and its countries can implement policies that save lives, cut costs, and protect prosperity. Together with the Assessment, they are a call to action for all levels of government, as well as the private sector and civil society. 

There are four main categories of action: 

  • Improved governance: EU countries should ensure that the risks and responsibilities are better understood. A closer cooperation on climate resilience between national, regional and local levels would ensure that knowledge and resources are made available where they are most effective.  
  • Better tools for empowering risk owners: Policymakers, businesses, and investors need to better understand how climate risks, investment, and long-term financing strategies interlink.  The Commission will improve and widen access to data and scenarios to help regional and local authorities better prepare. To complement terrestrial alert systems, in 2025 the Galileo Emergency Warning Satellite Service will become available to communicate alert information to the public.  
  • Harnessing structural policies: To manage climate risks across sectors the Communication advocates for a better spatial planning in EU countries; embedding climate risks in planning and maintaining critical infrastructure; and linking EU-level solidarity mechanisms with adequate national resilience measures.  
  • Right preconditions for financing climate resilience: Mobilising sufficient public and private finance for climate resilience is crucial. The Commission stands ready to support Member States improve and mainstream climate-risk budgeting in national budgetary processes.  

The Commission puts forward concrete suggestions for action in the fields of natural ecosystems, water, health, food, infrastructure and built environment, and the economy. Implementing existing EU legislation, that is already helping to reduce emissions and limit climate change, will go a long way to helping with successfully managing risks in many of these areas.

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