Events & Publications

COP 24 in Katowice: the EU is Warming Up

The COP 24 has just started in Katowice and the EU Commission has released its Evaluation of the 2013 EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change and PESETA III Project just a few weeks ago.
The key findings on risk transfer and the areas in Europe mostly afected by climate change picture the EU ready and determined to fight its battle against climate change.

It has finally arrived, the COP24 is taking place in Katowice, Poland these days and the EU looks ready.

Over the month of November the European Union has delivered the results of months of research and studies conducted to identify the best solutions to tackle climate change.

Climate Action: More Urgent than Ever

On the 12th of November the Commission has delivered its Evaluation of the 2013 EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change, showing the results of what has been done until now, to establish what is needed in the future to tackle climate change.
The evaluation shows that the Strategy delivered each of its three objectives: promoting action by Member States, ‘climate-proofing’ action at EU level and supporting better-informed decision-making.
Also, progress has been recorded against each of its individual actions, such as the development of the online platform Climate-ADAPT and the climate-proofing of key EU policies.

Albeit defined successful, the strategy has been defined more as a reference point to draw future well-guided climate strategies, than as the path to follow.
The results show that the EU is still vulnerable to climate impacts within and outside its borders and that action is more urgent than ever, as stressed by the most recent IPCC report, that showed that the planet could pass the 1.5° C already in 2030 if emissions do not decrease drastically.

Areas of Vulnerability: the PESETA III Project

The PESETA III Project, conducted by the Joint Research Centre, has brought together experts in economics, physics, engineering and biology, to identify the impact of climate change in Europe and suggest some adaptation strategies.

According to the study, climate change taking place in the rest of the world is deemed to affect Europe with a welfare loss by 20% in a high warming scenario.
Within Europe there is a clear north-south divide, with that Southern Europe more heavily affected by climate change, with heat-related deaths, water resources and habitat loss, energy demand for cooling and forest fires.

Adaptation Strategies: Risk Transfer

The Evaluation analyzed the adaptation strategies in place and needed to mitigate the effects of climate change, as the transfer of risk to the insurance market.
The risk pricing mechanism of the insurance industry is a valuable tool to identify where risk reduction is most needed. The Strategy’s evaluation found evidence that countries with widespread market-based insurance coverage recover faster in case extreme weather events.

However, this potential remains mostly untapped.
Risk transfer is not included in the adaptation approaches of many Member States and diverse insurance systems are applies, making it hard to increase market penetration of risk transfer mechanisms across Europe.
Today, more than two thirds of economic losses from natural hazards remain uninsured.

As already highlighted during the World Energy Week, extreme weather, together with cyber crimes, are the two risks mostly perceived by people working in the energy markets.
Finding a way to shrink the gap between total damages due to natural catastrophes and damages covered by insurance is essential, and this is only one of the forward-looking ideas addressed by the Commission in the evaluation.

Let’s see how the EU will play its cards in Katowice.