The European Commission is proposing that member countries begin planning now to adapt to climate change, which recent research shows coming faster than previous forecasts indicated.
Regional and national authorities will need to focus on the necessary infrastructure changes, while the EU plans to focus on helping nations, communities and businesses work cooperatively to ensure maximum effectiveness.
The latest climate findings indicate that global warming will bring more weather-related disasters such as droughts and floods. The shifting climate means it’s also likely that some regions will no longer be able to grow some of their traditional crops.
While those impacts are likely to hit developing nations the worse, the European community won’t be unscathed, research indicates.
“We must continue to work hard to reduce carbon emissions, but we must also adapt to the reality of climate change,” said Stavros Dimas, the EU’s environment commissioner. “There is no doubt that despite what is achieved, some amount of climate change is inevitable and irreversible.”
Preparing to adapt to climate change means that Europe needs more study to understand the effects of global warming, as well as strategies for better resource management. The EU says it must also assess the costs and benefits of adapting to climate change, and develop reliable tools for monitoring the changing environment’s impacts on human health.
Under its new proposal, the EU would set up a “clearinghouse mechanism” by 2011 that would provide a database for exchanging information on climate change risks, impacts and response strategies.