The impact of natural disasters in Europe

In July, devastating floods hit several regions in Belgium and Germany hard, while less intensively in some regions in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, France and Romania. Many people died and many were displaced, damage to property was severe, and the images of landslides, devastated villages and cities, and completely destroyed houses were very shocking. Economic activity and agricultural resources are badly affected.

Severe fires also took place in many regions in Europe, especially in Greece and Italy. The fires were made worse by very high abnormal temperatures. Essential forests have been destroyed, many people were displaced, and the cost of the damage was very great.

As stated in a recent Parliament report on the EU Solidarity Fund, the risk of natural disaster has now became permanent and endemic. Natural disasters are growing in number and intensity and will continue in the coming decades. The EU must strengthen its solidarity instruments to address this problem.

Strasbourg: Natural disasters in the summer of 2021 – The impact of natural disasters in Europe due to climate change (debate) – Written contribution by MEP Renew Vlad Gheorghe (14.09.2021).

The summer of 2021 was full of disasters, with floods and fires all over Europe. But sometimes fires are not just fires, they are arsons. Sometimes floods are not just floods, they are consequences of land slides provoked by illegal deforestation. And these we call green crime!

Such disasters lead not only to economic damages, but also to deaths. This year there was a cyclone in Romania, with devastating storms causing destruction. Climate change is a reality causing natural disasters 5 times more frequently than in previous years. 

Therefore, we need to adapt our solidarity mechanisms and provide for the damaged regions solid rehabilitation plans, accompanied by financial resources. We need to strengthen the EU civil protection mechanism and improve the infrastructure to be more resilient to natural disasters. We also need to guarantee early warning tools, like RO Alert system, to the population in order to save lives.

Sometimes natural disasters are the consequence of environmental crimes, others aren’t. This means we need to invest in both: crisis preparedness and fighting green crimes. And by doing so, we invest in the safety of our families.

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