Two important messages emerge from this review:
Climate change in Europe will involve losses and gains to the natural resource base; in some cases, these changes have begun. These impacts will vary substantially from region to region (they will be particularly adverse in the south) and within regions, from sector to sector as well as within sectors. The significance of these effects, however, will depend to a considerable extent on nonclimatic drivers of environmental change, socioeconomic development, and policy evolution within Europe. The most significant impacts (and opportunities) that will require greatest attention with respect to policies of response may be summarized in general terms as follows (a fuller precis appears in the Executive Summary at the beginning of this chapter). Climate changes as characterized by the scenarios described in Chapter 3 of this report, if not adequately responded to through effective adaptation and policy development, would lead in Europe to:
In general, more adverse effects may be expected to occur in regions of Europe that are economically less developed because adaptive capacity will be less developed there. These areas would include more marginal areas of the EU and regions outside the EU such as the Balkans.
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