Urgent adaptation investment is needed for the world to cope with global warming, protect vulnerable populations, and safeguard our future

If we needed a reminder that climate action is urgent, we got it in 2023. That was the hottest year on record.

Scientific projections indicate that global temperatures will keep increasing throughout this century. Even in the most optimistic scenarios, extreme weather events will increase as well. To face this threat, we must accelerate climate adaptation.

A recent report from the European Environment Agency on climate risks found that Europe is the fastest-warming continent and that our policies and adaptation actions are not keeping pace with the growing risks. Extreme heat, drought, wildfires and flooding are going to be more frequent and damage living conditions across Europe.

The price of inaction is not only an economic issue. It also hurts communities and ecosystems. In turn, this means more risks for marine and coastal ecosystems, food security, water supplies, energy production, health care and financial stability.

Climate changes will have a domino effect that permeate every aspect of society. As the frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters increase, so too does the cost of rebuilding. Taking more action now won’t just save money, It will enhance community preparedness and resilience, protect vulnerable systems and populations, and safeguard critical infrastructure.

Climate adaptation investment record

To strengthen Europe’s resilience to climate change, the European Commission published a communication in March outlining ways we can protect people and the economy from climate change. The communication calls for more private investment to address the risks and build resilience to the biggest problems. The European Investment Bank is working closely with the Commission, as well as countries, cities and the private sector, to finance more adaptation projects. The Bank will participate in a reflection group set up by the Commission to explore ways to increase finance for climate resilience. Last year, we devoted a record €2.7 billion to adaptation projects that build better roads, prevent flooding, protect electricity grids, develop new disaster plans and improve health care around the world. We will do even more adaptation work this year and in the years to come.


Preparedness will be the key word for the EIB Adaptation Days in April, says Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle

That’s why the European Investment Bank is holding its first Adaptation Days. To draw more attention to this urgent issue, we have invited experts from the European Commission, cities, the financial sector, railway operators, social experts and the scientific community. Our aim is to build partnerships that overcome barriers to investments -- partnerships that increase financing for projects that make our societies and economies stronger.

When we gather in Luxembourg on 24-25 April, I hope to hear wide-ranging, honest and open discussions about the problems we face, from the identification of vulnerabilities and climate risks to the implementation of innovative ideas to overcome the social and economic risks we are fighting right now. The Adaptation Days are designed to be highly practical, involving expert knowledge sharing of the latest scientific evidence, policies and financial tools.

Preparedness for global warming

Preparedness will be the key word over this two-day event. By anticipating the impacts of climate change and investing in measures to mitigate its effects, we can save lives today and safeguard future generations.

We also must strengthen our focus on climate adaptation’s connection to social justice. Vulnerable communities, which are often the least responsible for climate change, will be hurt the most by it. We must never forget the need for a “just transition” from fossil fuels to low-carbon technologies.

The EIB Adaptation Days will send a strong message that the European Investment Bank is ready to listen to everyone and build more partnerships with public and private sector clients to support more projects. Our financial and advisory services toolbox provides tailored assistance to prepare these projects and offers financing to turns innovative ideas into success stories.

We look forward to learning from you. There is no time to waste.