89 Connect Forums Economy & Finance What will be the economic effects of climate change in Europe?

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    • #2250
      Riccardo VenturiRiccardo Venturi
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      750 Points
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      Today has been the hottest day ever registered in Paris with its 43°, while yesterday Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have beaten their respective record summer temperatures. As we can already experience on our skin, climate change is an undenaible reality confirmed by an infinite number of studies, research, and trends. Therefore, I wonder what will be the impact of global warming in Europe in the medium-long term. Are these dramatic temperature changes going to affect heavily the economic systems of the continent, or are they already doing so and in what form? Which countries will suffer the most because of this problem and how?

    • #2295
      Verena ZimmermannVerena Zimmermann
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      434 Points
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      A very interesting and highly troubling issue! I believe that the changing climate will make many regions increasingly hostile, while living conditions in other parts might “improve”, which in turn will have different effects on the economy. For example, the economy in southern Spain relies to a large degree on tourism and agriculture. If temperatures continue to rise even sun deprived Brits may be repelled to visit the Costa del Sol to avoid an over 40 degree heatstroke. Similarly, the Spanish farming industry at some point will be unable to generate profits if the groundwater level continues to drop and crops will require increased irrigation in face of higher temperatures. Surely this will have a negative effect on the Spanish economy.

      However, one might argue that hotter temperatures will instead favour regions in northern Europe, turning Holland into the new Andalucia. (Of course given that the former hasn’t been flooded yet.) After all, industry sectors will simply have to relocate but since Europe is quite varied, it might after all be possible for the continent to balance new opportunities with the obvious disadvantages.

      I think its quite hard to predict possible odds, but very significant evidence signalling the costs of climate change for our economies already exists. Scientists agree that the increased numbers of natural disasters such as floods, forest fires, storms, etc. are very likely to be a result of climate change. These events involve enormous financial costs – surely a negative economic effect for all European countries. So to answer your first question, in my opinion, the dramatic temperature changes will heavily effect the economic systems of the continent albeit maybe not all of them to the same extent.

    • #2296
      Riccardo VenturiRiccardo Venturi
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      750 Points
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      Hi Verena, I do agree, although the relocation of entire industry sectors is heavily problematic (just think about those countries which are heavily reliant on agriculture and/or tourism, as you rightly stated). In any case, we are starting to see the effects already from now and, besides the mere economic aspects, we can see it with the naked eye. So the following questions are: how can (Southern) European countries get sufficiently prepared for this already occurring dramatic shift in temperatures and climatic conditions? And what can be role of the European Union in this sense?

      Experts in climate change are invited to join this debate!

    • #2304
      Maria Ludovica BozzoMaria Ludovica Bozzo
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      546 Points
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      Highly troubled issue indeed! I can speak for the energy sector, which I believe is key when speaking of climate change and economic implications.

      This sector has always been concerned with issues strictly related to climate change as such as Extreme Weather Events, Energy-Water Nexus and Land Use. These topics were troubling even before the situation in which we are now, and climate change effects can even worsen them; EWE becoming more frequent and appearing in new regions, EWN and LU being complicated by dryness and perhaps famine.
      This is why the energy sector is speaking about RESILIENCE as the new keyword to survive the changes, which means huge investments in infrastructures and  regional integration.

      Point is, as always, that not all the most endangered European countries could afford this level of investments and rethinking, but I believe that the EU could be helpful on that. The EU has the means to find out the best solutions and who needs them the most, and perhaps think about a funding aid.

      I know this is just one-specific sector point of view and much more should be considered, but it was worth a mention.

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