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Europe’s Climate Change Threatens Large Infrastructure Costs

Destroyed infrastructure in Europe due to climate change

We’ve all seen the science fiction movies that depict a world destroyed after the weather conditions spiral drastically.

Climate Change Effects in Europe

With humongous hurricanes, increasingly violent tropical storms, tsunamis, extreme heat waves during the summer that produces drought and you name it, these movies are doing a pretty good job by showing the audience what mother nature’s can due to our society if we don’t stop polluting the environment.

Nevertheless, even after such a vivid depiction, we seem to still be struggling with the idea that climate change is real and represents a very dangerous process with long term effects.

Recently though, we may have hit a topic that will finally attract attention from all fronts.

Climate change effects are getting worse as time passes, and the damages made to the European infrastructure are more than obvious.

So, what are the current impacts of climate change in Europe and how much does it cost to fix them?

Creating a budget for infrastructure damage caused by the changed weather conditions

With a budget for infrastructure damage repair already reaching the amount of €3.4 billion ($4 billion) a year, the future could bring budgets that will require a much larger financial effort.

It has been already estimated that by 2020, the total costs involving the repair of the damaged infrastructure of Europe could rise to a staggering amount of €9.3 billion ($10.9 billion).

If things don’t change by the middle of the century (2050), the budget consumed with the repair of the damaged infrastructure in Europe would reach €19.6 billion ($23 billion), and the monstrous amount of €37 billion ($43.4 billion) by 2080.

For such large budgets required only to repair the infrastructure in Europe, we can only imagine the size of the damage made by climate change effects as a result of the massive pollution of the environment made by mankind.

The effects of climate change in Europe are affecting the population due to the changed weather conditions.

Facing sudden violent storms, sudden drops in temperature during the summer or warm winters that are no longer capable of killing the dangerous flu viruses like before, Europe’s population is still less affected than the infrastructure of the continent.

How is Europe’s infrastructure affected by climate change?

Two major European sectors (energy and transport) are the most affected by the new weather conditions produced by global warming and climate change.

For the energy sector, Europe already spent €500 million ($586 million) for infrastructure repairs, but the increased weather changes continues to affect a large number of power plants on the continent.

The energy sector suffers because the changed weather conditions are affecting the power plants due to the presence of heat waves leading to droughts.

Power plants need to consume additional resources to maintain a steady temperature inside the facilities.

The transportation sector also suffers due to the increased temperatures that are affecting both the asphalt on the roads and highways, and also the railways made of steel.

Droughts affecting crops

The droughts are also affecting the fresh water supplies for the agricultural sector.

Until now, Europe’s infrastructure was mostly affected by high winds and floods, but the latest changes in the weather conditions have added new challenges such as sudden drops in temperature in a very short time, extreme storms and heat waves.

All these extreme weather conditions are putting a lot of pressure on Europe’s infrastructure, which is way more aggressive than before.

More damage means more money on repairs and more resources consumed due to the fact that we still don’t understand that the environment is only showing us that we should stop damaging nature, and there is another way of producing energy without polluting the environment.

With the increasing unreliability of the weather, and the seasons that are getting shorter, with extremely hot summers, and warm or extremely cold winters, the final picture doesn’t look very promising.

Besides the two sectors that are the most affected by the changed weather conditions, the agricultural sector also suffers due to droughts that have become in recent years a common phenomenon that occurs during each summer.

Another threatening statistic is showing that in 2010, the damages made by climate change to Europe’s infrastructure represented only about 10%.

Changed Weather Conditions Damaging Europe’s Infrastructure

However, because the weather conditions have dramatically changed and now are more violent than ever, it has been calculated that only in two years from now on (in 2020), the extreme weather conditions created by global warming and climate change could damage infrastructure by 90%.

One of the most harmful weather conditions that have damaged the infrastructure the most, is the sudden rise of the temperatures up to levels that are uncommon for the season when they occur.

For example, the heat waves that have arrived along with the summer months, have turned to be both violent and dangerous for people and the infrastructure in Europe.

For the southern countries of Europe such as Spain, France, Italy, and even Greece, the high temperatures during the summer season have become even worse, and the extreme heat waves that hit these countries are increasing the water consumption and are seriously affecting the population and their infrastructure.

The changed weather conditions affect both people and infrastructure

Other European countries are facing today similar changed weather conditions that are increasingly damaging the health of he population and the infrastructure.

Even the countries located in eastern Europe such as Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Czech Republic with a known temperate climate, are at great risk of suffering due to heat waves, sudden storms with heavy rains and even floods in areas where water has not been seen invading the streets from decades.

Sadly, even if we can see with our own eyes that the weather has been dramatically changed and we can face anytime a dangerous climate disaster, we are not doing much to at least reduce the pollution produced by vehicles and by the energy sector.

The use of fossil fuels must stop as soon as possible, and the governments need to grant incentives for car owners to help them replace their polluting vehicles with all-electric or hybrid vehicles.


The generation capacity for renewable energy must be seriously increased, and more money need to be invested in R&D because we need advanced technology to master the great source of unlimited clean power created by nuclear fusion (which is the same nuclear reaction that takes place every second in the Sun).

In fact, when one starts to understand the possible effects the weather is set to portray, the movies that once depicted science fiction don’t seem to be so far away.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

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