The World Daily
€500 billion spent across 40 years on extreme weather in Europe

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | FEBRUARY 3rd 2022 


Over the course of the last four decades, it’s been found that extreme weather events such as flooding and severe storms have cost Europe an approximate sum of €500 billion, according to data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Germany, France and Italy were found to be the worst hit countries in terms of the most money having been spent on extreme weather and climate damages. The data was published on Thursday, and no clear trends could be identified between increasing losses and climate change due to the fact that the majority of economic impacts had a tendency to be connected to a few major weather events.

About 60% of the documented economic losses had been linked to only 3% of the weather events over this recorded period of time.

“There is no clear pattern for the most extreme events – they are still random, to a large extent,” said one of the lead authors of the study, Wouter Vanneuville, of the EEA. “But adaptation is ongoing and is having an impact.”

However, he added that the lack of a trend should not be an invitation to remain calm about the situation – changing our infrastructure to be more resistant to extreme weather as it becomes more common and temperatures continue to rise is imperative.

“The reason we don’t see a trend is not that climate change is not real, but because a lot of actions are going on against climate change. More and more countries are implementing adaptation strategies,” said Vanneuville.

Between the periods of 1980 to 2020, somewhere between 90,000 and 142,000 recorded deaths had been connected with extreme weather – primarily with heatwaves, which had been particularly bad in recent years.


In terms of the worst-recorded economic damages, the majority had been linked to flooding and other hydrological events. These had been accountable for around 44% of all economical losses. After hydrological events, the most damaging were the meteorological weather events, such as violent storms and winds. Depending on the dataset, these amount to around 39% of all economic damages.

“Even if we reach net zero emissions before 2050, adaptation will still be needed to keep the impacts limited,” added Vanneuville.

2002 had seen the worst in terms of ecological damages to EEA countries related to climate, largely from hydrological events, with nearly €40 billion in damages having been recorded in that year alone. In 2020, these total damages had amounted to around €12 billion, the majority related to climatological events.

The UK isn’t fully included in this data, as it primarily focuses on EEA countries, and since Brexit, the UK had chosen not to be members of the EEA. This in spite of several non-European Union countries such as Norway still being EEA members.


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2022 

Source: The Guardian,