This CEPS Working Document reviews the potential impacts of climate change on 11 key indicator categories and 3 large regions covering the entire European Union. Although there remains a considerable degree of uncertainty about local and regional effects, the paper highlights strong distributional patterns. Northern Europe might even experience some positive effects, while the Mediterranean will mostly be negatively affected. Still, the cumulative impacts of climate change on poorer countries will also affect northern European countries, as growing water scarcity and other repercussions in Mediterranean countries could pose social and security challenges through increasing risks of conflicts and migration pressures.
The impacts outlined in this paper are a useful starting point for policy-makers when shaping effective adaptation policies for Europe. They underline the need for a European response in the spirit of solidarity, while stressing that the fight against climate change is clearly in the self-interest of the EU and all of its member states.