Europe unprepared for climate change, warns Spanish minister

Spanish Environment Minister Teresa Ribera voiced concerns in Brussels about Europe’s lack of readiness for the economic and social fallout from climate change. Before the EU Environment Council meeting, Ribera spotlighted the World Meteorological Organization’s findings that 2023 shattered global temperature records, with the land surface 1.45°C warmer than the pre-industrial era, alongside unprecedented sea temperatures.

Europe, she noted, is warming faster than any other continent, a fact underscored by recent assessments of European climate risks. Ribera pointed to the escalating water-related risks and environmental degradation as critical issues, highlighting drought impacts on France’s nuclear power and Northern Europe’s river transport, as well as Spain’s ongoing drought challenges.

The minister underscored the urgency of environmental restoration and conservation, particularly for small-scale farmers reliant on water and quality soil. Despite a setback in finalizing the EU Nature Restoration Law due to a lack of consensus among member states, Ribera remained hopeful for progress, drawing on Spain’s experience of balancing GDP growth with reduced climate emissions. She stressed the importance of committing to nature and climate security investments to mitigate future costs and damages.–Web Desk