Mediterranean faces EU climate brunt

Italy, Spain and Greece could bear the brunt of climate change in Europe this century, according to a draft report by the European Commission, with heatwaves and wildfires affecting food production and earnings from tourism, Reuters reported. An early draft of the report also highlighted the threat of mass migrations as arid regions become drier.


Seen by Reuters, the draft of Adapting to Climate Change did not specifically name the three countries; however, six accompanying maps showed heavy impacts on their crop yields and availability of fresh water. The maps also highlighted increased risks from wildfires in the eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, as well as dangerous heatwaves in Spain.



“Young, old and frail persons are the most susceptible,” said the draft by the commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU).


In noting the threat of mass migrations from environmentally hostile areas, the report said that the EU’s neighbours include regions, such as north Africa, that are among the most vulnerable to climate change.


The economic impact of climate change could be 6.2 billion euros (US$7.9 billion) a year by 2020 if the 27-member European Union does nothing to adapt. That cost could increase annually by 2060, the draft said, depending on the success of EU measures to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. Those measures will not be adopted until April.



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