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European Climate Risk Assessment

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In May 2022, the Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission (DG CLIMA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) initiated the preparation of the first European Climate Risk Assessment (EUCRA).

EUCRA will provide a comprehensive assessment of current and future climate change impacts and risks on the environment and society in Europe.

The main policy objectives are:

  • to support the identification of adaptation-related policy priorities for the next European Commission;
  • to support the prioritization of adaptation-related investments for the next multi-annual financial framework of the European Union;
  • to support EU policy development in climate-sensitive sectors; and
  • to provide an EU-wide point of reference for conducting and updating national or subnational climate risk assessments.

Policy context

The EU Adaptation Strategy sets out how the European Union can adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change and become climate resilient by 2050. The Strategy proposes to step-up adaptation planning and risk assessments as one of the key steps towards achieving smarter, swifter and more systematic adaptation in Europe. It explicitly states under No. 14: “Building on its Overview of natural and man-made disaster risks the European Union may face, relevant research projects, its series of PESETA reports, and taking into account existing sector regulations, the Commission will draw up an EU-wide climate risk assessment.

The European Parliament resolution of 15 September 2022 also urged the Commission to draw up an EU-wide climate risk assessment and to pay special attention to the risks of droughts, forest fires and health threats.

What products will EUCRA deliver?

EUCRA will comprise the following products:

  • EUCRA report (published by EEA)
  • Executive summary
  • Complimentary products, including an interactive data viewer and technical background documents

What is the added value of EUCRA?

EUCRA seeks to complement the existing knowledge base on the assessment of climate-related hazards and risks in Europe and provide added value for policymaking in the following areas:

  • Integrating different lines of evidence, including quantitative model-based information and scientific publications in a review-type assessment of climate risks for Europe;
  • Systematic assessment of the magnitude of key climate risks currently and in the future for European sub-regions;
  • Addressing compound hazards (including non-climatic hazards), cross-border risks, cascading risks, and systemic risks to the extent possible;
  • Involving stakeholders from across the European Commission throughout the assessment process, including in the scoping, risk screening and risk evaluation phase;
  • Assessing the European policy context, risk ownership, and urgency for action for each key risk, in cooperation with European stakeholders; and
  • Providing complementary interactive tools for accessing further information on climate hazards and risks at a higher spatial resolution.

What is the timeframe?

The publication of the first EUCRA is scheduled for spring 2024. 

What is the general approach and methodology?  

Due to an ambitious timeframe, the first EUCRA will be a fast-tracked and expert-driven assessment primarily based on a review and synthesis of existing data and knowledge from various sources. The first EUCRA will focus specifically on risks linked to agreed EU policy targets and risks not well covered in current European or national climate risk assessments.

EUCRA will apply the climate risk concept of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report and follow the risk assessment guidelines of ISO 31000 and ISO 14091.

 

Source: UNDRR (adapted)

 

Who is involved?

DG CLIMA and EEA jointly lead the preparation of EUCRA. 

The implementing partners are:

EUCRA also involves a large number of external experts, policymakers and other stakeholders during all phases of the project, including: 

  • An Expert Advisory Group
  • A Working Group of the European Commission
  • Eionet Group on Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation

Which data and knowledge sources will be used?

EUCRA will build on available data and knowledge from previous assessments of climate-related hazards and risks in Europe and at the global level and coordinate with ongoing European assessments to ensure the complementarity of results.

Key sources of data and knowledge include:

Where does the funding come from?

DG CLIMA is providing funding for EUCRA through a service-level agreement with EEA. In addition, in-kind contributions are provided by other contributing organisations, including EEA, JRC and C3S.

Contact

EUCRA@eea.europa.eu