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News article8 May 2024

ESOTC 2023 report aligns with the Eurocodes second generation's aim for a climate-resilient built environment in Europe

The Annual European State of Climate Report ESOTC 2023 Highlights Urgent Need for Climate-Resilient Europe

The 2023 European State of Climate Report (ESOTC), a join collaboration between the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), published in April 2023, presents a comprehensive analysis of the climate's impact on a global and European scale. The ESOTC 2023 report findings align with the aim of the second generation Eurocodes for a climate-resilient built environment. The Eurocodes are worldwide used standards for the structural and geotechnical design of civil engineering and construction works and their second generation aims at embracing new societal demands, such as those relating to sustainability, climate resilience and safety in the built environment.

The report presents the adverse effects of climate change in the climate variables. This support the need for strengthening the requirements for robustness and resilience in structural design in the construction sector.  

As stated in the ESOCT 2023 the effects of climate change persisted during 2023, leading to the suffering of millions of individuals due to severe weather occurrences like droughts, floods, and wildfires. The report highlights Europe as the fastest-warming continent, with temperatures rising at twice the global average. It also reveals that heat-related deaths increased by 94% in European regions, emphasizing the heightened risk of climate-related health impacts and the need for proactive measures to mitigate these risks

In addition, the report brings into attention the increased fire danger levels and large wildfires in Europe, underscoring the significance of understanding and monitoring fire danger indices to evaluate the potential intensity of fires, especially close to urban areas, and the need for proactive measures to mitigate these risks. Furthermore, the report addresses the alarming levels of greenhouse gases, with atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane reaching record levels, alongside a new annual record loss of ice in glaciers worldwide. 

The report stresses climate policy and action, with a particular focus on human health. It delves into the Arctic's conditions and the global context, utilizing datasets from Copernicus Services and other monitoring activities to offer a long-term perspective. These data, accessible via the C3S Climate Data Store and other repositories, support the European Union's climate adaptation and mitigation policies. 

With the EU's commitment to becoming climate-neutral by 2050 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, the report reinforces the importance of greater climate resilience and effective preparation for climate risks as supported by the recent European climate risk assessment report (EUCRA) by the European Environment Agency (EEA). 

It is clear that the impacts of extreme weather events and slow-onset climate change pose a serious risk to Europe's built environment and infrastructure, with significant implications for human wellbeing. In this context the recent Commission Communication on managing climate risks (COM(2024) 91 final) enlightens the role of building and infrastructure standards in integrating climate adaptation and resilience, and in particular the second generation Eurocodes. 



Publication date
8 May 2024
Not associated with a specific Eurocode
Not associated with a specific Eurocode

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