The earth is getting hotter, much hotter in some places. Extreme weather events are becoming more common and records are frequently broken. In November 2016, the temperature in the Arctic was an unheard of 20°C higher than normal. Weeks later in January, an extreme cold wave froze the fountains in Rome.
While not every weird weather incident can be linked directly to climate change, science shows that as the climate warms, some types of extreme weather are becoming more frequent and severe with increases in extreme heat, intense precipitation, and drought.
For this reason alone, the fight against climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the world today. Moreover, the countries that are most vulnerable to its impacts are those that are least responsible for causing it.
However, this does not mean that Europe will be exempt from its effects. Far from it.
Indeed, the impacts of climate change will be felt everywhere as Europe is already too aware. Communities in the UK, Germany and France, for instance, have suffered devastating and recurrent flooding in recent years, while people in Central and Eastern Europe have simmered under unprecedented heat-waves.
Due to our historical responsibility and capacity to act, the EEB believes that we in the EU must take the lead in helping to combat this global crisis.
The EEB works closely with Climate Action Network Europe and other partners to ensure that the EU fully complies with its obligations under the Paris climate agreement.
We are now focusing on ensuring that EU policymakers turn this historic deal into reality and deliver ambitious policies for the years to come.
The annual cost of climate related extreme weather in Europe
People affected by coastal and inland floods in Europe (2000 to 2014)