The ambitious strategy set by the European Commission to reach climate neutrality by 2050 must be accompanied by an equally ambitious new EU strategy for climate adaptation. Europe needs to shift its focus from reacting to climate change disasters to building a new approach that prioritises prevention, risk reduction and resilience building.
Timely action to adapt to climate change will help reduce costs in the medium and long term. In EU member states, disasters caused by weather and climate-related extreme events accounted for 83% of monetary losses over 1980-2017 (€426 billion). The current annual cost of climate change impact on critical infrastructures is €3.4 billion, and is expected to increase six-fold by 2050.