By / March 19, 2021

Impacts on annual EU

Impacts on annual EU GDP (€ billions) due to climate impacts in the rest of the world regions, via international trade (imports and exports)

Impacts on annual EU GDP (€ billions) due to climate impacts in the rest of the world regions, via international trade (imports and exports)

Europe is also vulnerable to climate change-related impacts occurring outside the continent, as it is part of a highly interconnected world, and therefore subject to spill-over effects. Climate impacts elsewhere may affect the economic performance of the EU in terms of imports, exports, sectoral production, employment and prices. International spill-over effects may thus affect overall European economic activity and could increase the internal EU welfare loss by approximately 20 %. Spill-over effects occur through six major pathways: trade in agricultural commodities, trade in non-agricultural commodities, infrastructure and transport, geopolitics and security risks, finance, and human migration resulting from cross-border displacements, especially as regards population migrating from Northern Africa and the Middle East to Europe. The magnitude of these effects depends on two aspects: the severity of climate impacts in the rest of the world and the intensity of trade between other world regions and the EU. Most of the transboundary effects on Europe are due to climate damage that occurs in two regions: the Americas and Asia, and about half of the transboundary effects experienced by the EU are due to climate change impacts on crops and related price volatility, which mainly affect central and southern European regions.
As described in this chapter, Europe is already negatively (and less so positively) affected by ongoing climate change. This trend is projected to continue, or even be exacerbated, unless climate action is taken. Both the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change have been addressed by policies designed and implemented at all levels of governance. The next chapter of this study looks in particular at EU policy-making in the field of climate action and its international context.


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