Spain among EU countries most affected by climate change

by Lorraine Williamson
climate change

Europe is the region most affected by climate change globally and where temperatures are rising the fastest. And within this continent in particular climatic need, southern Europe, where Spain is located, is in the worst situation.

While other European latitudes have fewer bad forecasts for rainfall or heatwaves, the Mediterranean region scores negatively in all categories. With serious consequences that are already being felt in food production and tourism.

The European Environment Agency of the European Commission has published the first European climate risk analysis. It lists 32 current and future hazards. Depending on the intensity of the policies pursued, these are already having an impact on the EU as a whole. It also identifies risks that may arise from the effects of climate change on food production, particularly in southern Europe. “Climate impacts on food production can affect rural and coastal livelihoods, land use, social and health-sensitive groups, and the economy at large,” the report said. 

Risks by region

The report locates these climate risks in the areas of food, health, ecosystems, infrastructure, and economics and finance. It does, however, make a distinction within the EU by region. Northern, western and central-eastern Europe are also experiencing high temperatures, droughts, water shortages or floods. However, there is only one region where all these indicators are heading in the wrong direction. This is southern Europe, where Spain is located, which, like low-lying coastal areas and islands, are “hotspots for multiple climate risks”. 

Agriculture and summer tourism

“Southern Europe is particularly at risk from the increasing impact of heat and drought on agricultural production, outdoor work, summer tourism and fires. Within southern Europe, rural areas and local economies that depend on ecosystem services [agriculture, forestry or fisheries] are particularly at risk,” the report warns. 

Cogesa Expats

“Regional and local economies that depend on tourism, agriculture, fisheries and forestry are particularly vulnerable to climate change,” the report said on a situation that certainly applies to Spain.

Heat stress in the population

The report estimates that extreme heat causes “heat stress” in a large part of the European population, especially in the south and west. The record temperatures of 2022 are said to have caused 60,000 to 70,000 premature deaths. This heat also has effects on people’s well-being. For example, the productivity of employees is affected.

“Terrible prospects”

The document warns that if “decisive action” is not taken, the risks will be “serious or catastrophic” by the end of this century. “Hundreds of thousands of people will die as a result of heatwaves. The economic losses from coastal flooding alone can amount to more than a trillion euros per year,” the European Commission’s environmental services said.

EU Green Pact

They call for the policy of the EU’s Green Pact to be maintained, which is increasingly in the spotlight as the European Parliament elections approach.

These include the reduction of CO2 emissions and the Nature Restoration Act to restore ecosystems that he believes are being depleted and exacerbating the effects of climate change. “Unsustainable land use and water management, biodiversity loss, and increased pollution increase the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate hazards,” the report said.

You may also like