Policy context

Policy context

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Under the umbrella of the European Green Deal, the European Commission presented in February 2021 a new EU Adaptation Strategy “Forging a climate-resilient Europe”, suggesting action for smarter, faster, more systemic adaptation and with renewed attention for the international dimension. As part of the smarter adaptation objective, more and better climate-related risk and losses data are requested as these kind of data are crucial to improve the accuracy of climate risk assessments.

 

While no standardised public datasets with economic losses are available for Europe based on public records from countries, the European Commission promotes public private partnerships to collect and share these data in the future. At some point in future, these public data will also become the data source for EEA’s indicator on economic losses and fatalities from weather and climate related events.

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In May 2021, they European Commission published a staff working document “Closing the climate protection gap - Scoping policy and data gaps”. In this document, macro-economic, micro-economic and data aspects are analysed to conclude that the climate protection gap is already large and may grow over time unless public authorities, the insurance sector and other stakeholders take steps to reduce it. Collecting data on total economic and insured losses in a comparable way across countries is one of the basic activities needed. There are clear links to the EU’s renewed sustainable finance strategy and EIOPA’s natural catastrophe dashboard (see Future work).

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Losses and fatalities due to extreme events are also informing the EU civil protection mechanism and the European disaster risk management. An “overview of natural

and man-made disaster risks the European Union may face” builds on information reported by national authorities in their national risk assessments (including projected impacts due to climate change) as well as on the latest available evidence from the Commission’s cross-sectoral policy, operational and scientific work on disaster risk.

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At the international level, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) has 38 indicators to measure progress under the seven targets. Also the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have and international indicator set where 232 unique indicators track the progress of the 169 SDG targets for the 17 SDGs. Information on economic losses and human impacts are part of the indicator framework of both the SFDRR and the SDGs.

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The Paris Agreement reaffirmed the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage as the main vehicle under the UNFCCC process to avert, minimize and address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts, including extreme weather events and slow onset events. The Paris Agreement also requested what is named the Fiji Clearing House for Risk Transfer that serves as a repository for information on insurance and risk transfer, in order to facilitate the efforts of Parties to develop and implement comprehensive risk management strategies.

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The Glasgow Climate Pact agreed at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) acknowledges that climate change has already caused and will increasingly cause loss and damage and that, as temperatures rise, impacts from climate and weather extremes, as well as slow onset events, will pose an ever-greater social, economic and environmental threat. The pact as well acknowledges the importance of coherent action to respond to the scale of needs caused by the adverse impacts of climate change.

 

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