Climate tops list of global threats in EU ‘strategic foresight’ report

(EurActiv, 8 Sep 2021) ‘Climate change and other environmental challenges’ are identified as the first biggest challenge that will affect Europe in the coming decades, raising risks ranging from migration pressure to food price shocks, the European Commission said in a report adopted on Wednesday (8 September).

Water stress, conflict and migration” are all expected to intensify in the coming decades as a result of a warming planet, the Commission warned in its Strategic Foresight Report.

“Pressure on water and food security will continue to grow” and is “set to increase over time,” the Commission said in the report, which flagged water scarcity as an issue that “will become particularly problematic in the southern EU neighbourhood potentially aggravating conflicts and pressure on migration”.

This, it added, could cause “food insecurity and price shocks” caused by growing competition for water and fertile land, as “over 40% of the EU’s agricultural imports could become highly vulnerable to drought by 2050,” the report said.

‘Not a crystal ball’

This EU’s Strategic Foresight Report “is not a crystal ball”, said Maroš Šefčovič, the EU Commissioner in charge of interinstitutional relations and foresight. Its aim is to provide a forward-looking perspective on the EU’s capacity to act in the coming decades, and provide “the context for possible policy responses”.

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EurActiv, 8 Sep 2021: Climate tops list of global threats in EU ‘strategic foresight’ report