Vulnerable and Unprepared: Assessing Italy's Path to Fight Climate Change
Italy is located in an area which is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Indeed, in this regard the Mediterranean is considered to be a hotspot and as a result Italy, together with other Southern European countries, will be very heavily impacted. Here climate change is associated with rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns and prolonged periods of drought. Moreover, an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events is 9% more likely than it was 20 years ago, according to the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change. All sectors of the economy are negatively impacted, with a particularly worrying trend being seen in agriculture. Changes are presenting risks for the availability of water resources and hence revealing the inadequacy of current infrastructures and adaptation strategies. The costs associated with climate change impacts increase exponentially as temperatures rise in different scenarios, with some forecasts indicating a loss of up to 8.5% by 2050 of gross domestic product. Climate change also interacts with socioeconomic and land use changes, as well as widening the economic gap between regions. Mitigating and adapting to climate change is thus an existential priority for Italy. The country is already suffering and will increasingly suffer high climate costs, for example in the agricultural sector, but despite this there is still a shortage of climate insurance.