What are the local impacts?

Climate change is a global issue, which is probably already affecting your local authority. The impacts of climate change are many and various. They include extreme events such as severe storms and hailstorms, flooding, heat waves and drought, all of which dramatically symbolise ongoing climate change.

These extreme weather events affect buildings and infrastructure, cultural heritage, business, ecosystems and agriculture, and as a consequence lead to high economic losses and financial burdens. There are also massive impacts in the form of long-lasting changes caused by a rise in temperature, such as retreating glaciers, longer growing seasons, shift of species ranges, and health impacts due to heat waves of unprecedented severity.

Many European municipalities and regions are already being hit by climate-related disasters and this will continue in future. E.g., the heat wave of 2003 caused damage totalling 17 billion euros. Especially in France, it demonstrated the need for a health system that can quickly react to major emergencies and always has enough staff available. The previous year, 2002, a once in a 100 year flood caused severe damage across Europe. Thousands of people were dispossessed, dozens died and damage running to billions of Euro was caused.

Within AMICA, the focus was on local climate impacts reflected by the four working groups on Flooding rivers in urban areas, Flooding of coasts, Droughts and floods in rural areas and Overheating in urban areas.