Sustainable Energy

Europe warns on climate change… as Trump administration starts to roll back US policies

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European authorities are continuing to warn about the effects of climate change even as the new U.S. administration under President Donald Trump is rolling back environmental policy.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has highlighted that changes in climate are impacting ecosystems, economic sectors and the health and well being of people in Europe.

According to the EEA report, "Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016," climate change – both in Europe and the rest of the world – was continuing, with "climate-related extremes" such as droughts, heatwaves and heavy precipitation increasing in both intensity and frequency across "many regions."

While all regions in Europe where vulnerable to climate change, both southern and south-eastern Europe were seen as becoming climate change hotspots, the EEA said in a news release Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Trump's administration has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the climate change page from its website, two agency employees told Reuters. The move is seen as a further attempt to dismantle ex-President Barack Obama's climate change initiatives.

The EEA added that south and south-eastern Europe was experiencing significant increases in heat extremes and falls in precipitation and river flows, increasing risks of lower crop yields, forest fires, biodiversity loss and severe droughts.

In the west of Europe, floodplains and coastal areas faced an increased risk of flooding due to rising sea levels and a potential rise in storm surges.

"Climate change will continue for many decades to come," Hans Bruyninckx, executive director of the EEA, said in a statement.

"The scale of future climate change and its impacts will depend on the effectiveness of implementing our global agreements to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but also ensuring that we have the right adaptation strategies and policies in place to reduce the risks from current and projected climate extremes," Bruyninckx added.