Climate change drives extreme weather and climate-related events, which in turn lead to economic losses. Such events, including heat waves, floods and storms, have caused over EUR 145 billion in economic losses in the EU over the past decade. Furthermore, the 30-year moving average of climate-related economic losses shows a clear trend, increasing nearly 2 % annually over the last decade. These are estimates by the European Environmental Agency, republished by Eurostat.
In 2020, the total climate-related economic losses were EUR 12 billion. The highest total loss was recorded in 2017 (EUR 27.9 billion), more than double that in 2020, as a result of the heatwaves registered in Europe that dried the land and caused wildfire conditions. The lowest total loss was observed in 2012 (EUR 3.7 billion).
Greece recorded highest climate-related economic losses per inhabitant
In 2020, climate-related economic losses stood at EUR 27 per EU inhabitant. The Member State with the highest loss per inhabitant (almost three times higher than the EU average) was Greece (EUR 91per inhabitant), followed by France (EUR 62) and Ireland (EUR 42). The lowest losses per inhabitant were registered in Bulgaria (0.7 per inhabitant), Slovenia and Slovakia (both EUR 4).
Would you like to learn more?
Climate-related economic losses is one of the indicators in the Eurostat interactive visualisation tool showing relevant statistics for the European Green Deal. It presents an overview of 26 indicators divided into 3 main topics: Reducing our climate impact, protecting our planet & health and enabling a green & just transition.
For more information:
- Statistics Explained articles on climate change
- Dedicated section on climate change
- Database on climate change
- Sustainable development in the European Union — Monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context — 2022 edition
- The indicator “climate-related economic losses” measures the economic losses from weather and climate-related events. Weather and climate-related events are defined as meteorological events (storms), hydrological events (floods, mass movements) and climatological events (heatwaves, cold waves, droughts, forest fires). For more information, please refer to the methodological notes.
- Reported economic losses generally reflect monetised direct damages to certain assets and as such are only partial estimates of damage. They do not consider losses related to mortality and health, cultural heritage or ecosystems services, which would considerably raise the estimate.
- The European Environment Agency (EEA) compiles the EU aggregate data and publishes data for the EU and all Member States. Eurostat republishes the EEA data.
- The 30-year average reflects trends excluding the substantial climate variability on shorter time scales due to natural factors. Due to the variability of the annual figures, the data are also presented as a 30-year moving average to facilitate the analysis of historical trends.
- Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Malta: 2020 data on climate-related losses in EUR per inhabitant are not available.