Thursday, 17 September 2020
Extreme heat, drought and flooding due to climate change will cost Belgium almost €9.5 billion in 2050, according to a new study ordered by the national climate commission.
While climate change can also lead to some financial gains associated with milder winters, those will amount to €3 billion per year, or far less than the cost, according to the study, which was carried out by Vito, Kenter and EcoRes.
“While the picture is incomplete, towards the end of the century the sectors representing the largest costs show a trend of stronger increase in the costs than in the gains of climate change,” the study said.
The groups within society that are already vulnerable today “are often also the most vulnerable to climate change effects,” according to the study.
Belgium is more vulnerable in general since much of the population lives in urban areas, where the adverse effects of heat and flooding are worse. According to international studies, the yearly costs of flooded rivers in Belgium will be between €134 and €290 million, with €200 to €650 million on top of that for coastal flooding.
In addition, the heat could lead to heat exhaustion and strokes and worsen lung and cardiovascular conditions, potentially leading to 60,000 additional hospitalisations and an extra cost of €95 to €188 million a year.
The Brussels Times