Climate impacts laid bare as flood waters ease

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As Europe reels from flooding, which submerged streets, closed schools and saw thousands evacuated, EU leaders are reminded of the threats of climate change to the continent. 18 people were left dead and thousands more stranded as flash floods broke river banks, across Europe. In France, the Louvre and Orsay museums were shut as flood waters in Paris peaked over six metres above normal levels, while 5,000 people were evacuated, over 20,000 homes were left without power, and an estimated €1 billion in damages were caused across the country. Experts have been quick to connect this latest extreme weather event to climate change, and now, a new report from E3G warns that if left unmanaged, the frequency of such events could bring untold security threats, human losses and economic disruption to Europe. As leaders look to refresh its approach to security, the report warns that the EU has “no security without climate security”.

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  • “One of the clearest signs of climate change, over much of the world, is the increase in the fraction of the rain that falls in the heaviest events… a warmer atmosphere can hold more water. And the consequences can be traumatic, as individuals, businesses, and communities struggle to manage very heavy rains.” – Climate scientist, Chris Field
  • “[The rain and floods are due] to climate, and we have to get used to it, but also to us humans, settling into areas that we shouldn’t live.” – Climate risk expert, Jeroen Aerts
  • “In previous decades, climate change was seen either as a distant threat or as a purely environmental issue. It has become now the ultimate threat multiplier which can aggravate conflicts and drive mass displacement of people. Therefore managing climate risk and an orderly global energy transition must be put at the heart of the EU Global Strategy. If not, European security and prosperity will face an existential threat.” – Luca Bergamaschi, E3G

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