The prolonged drought puts the EU in front of an unprecedented Europe that has turned into a dry country


Brussels faces crop devastation and fires and considers options such as improving water management or a solidarity plan to help with climate disasters

The severe drought affecting 60% of Europe has raised climate change in several places on the EU’s priority agenda. With the start of the new course, the prolonged absence of rain and the heat wave, which community analyzes themselves predict will be the worst in the past 500 years, will put the Commission in such a complicated scenario. And that forces ministers to look for solutions, because some experts are already warning that climate change is moving faster than the 2030 goals agenda.

For the time being, the Union finds on the table requests for help from various countries to cover the damage caused by the summer; both because of the dry land into which tens of thousands of hectares of crops or livestock have been converted, and because of the forest fires. Slovenia, the Czech Republic and France have already asked for community cooperation.

The Gallic case is above all a demonstration of what is happening to the planet. The “monstrous” megafire caused by drought and high temperatures in the southwest of the country, with more than 7,000 hectares burned, is a phenomenon more typical of California than European forests, although it is also true that there are many other examples. of a summer dystopian. Never has there been such persistent drought in the northernmost regions of the hemisphere: Norway’s reservoirs are 10% below their usual level, while the Swiss witness was amazed at the unprecedented volume loss of Lake Constance, Lugano, Walen and Cuatro Cantones or the “alarming” situation of its groundwater reserves, the major underground water storage in Europe.

Because the world doesn’t live on rain alone. The glaciers are also suffering from an unusual temperature rise, at least since February. Italy’s Sabbione lost 35% of its mass in August and the snow cover at Gries, in Switzerland, is now half what it had in April. The experts will ask Brussels to pay attention to this because the continent strongly depends on it: the fewer glaciers, the more warming and burning countries.

Some community ministers believe that if it is not possible to implement global solutions immediately, there is at least the opportunity to clean up the damage. Brussels has several proposals ahead of it. One, improve water management. Another is to set up an emergency team tasked with managing material resources and recovery funds in the event of drought, floods, fires or other climatic disasters. A kind of solidarity system that urges countries in a better situation to help those who suffer from disasters. The EU particularly welcomes the mobilization of Germany, Greece, Poland, Austria, Denmark and Italy, who sent firefighters, tankers and planes to France a week ago to fight the fire in the Gironde. “Europe has once again shown its solidarity,” President Emmanuel Macron congratulated himself a few days ago.

This summer is not the only drought the continent has experienced, but its duration, intensity and territorial expansion represent an unknown reality for the community club. The great navigable rivers of Europe, such as the Rhine, the Po or the Danube, are threatened with death along with them. In some parts they are just unnavigable streams. The loss of the Po river has killed 30% of the crop in Italy, which has declared a state of emergency in a dozen regions. Germany is facing the loss of capacity of the main river highway when it is most needed to transport coal.

Because that’s another question. If the current absence of rains is not radically reversed – and yet it is difficult – several community countries fear losing much of their hydroelectric generation power, while every kilowatt is essential to prevent the decline in Russian gas due to sanctions against to go. Moscow before the invasion of Ukraine.

The European Observatory warns this week that 47% of the territory is at risk of drought – a state tantamount to taking restrictive measures – and 17% is already on serious alert. Nearly 60% of water consumption goes to agriculture, which experts say predicts that Brussels will have to deal with a large number of aid files for the sector. Only 9% of consumption is private. And then there is the immaterial damage. It is impressive to behold Hyde Park, sparse and withered. Last month was the driest in England since 1935.

According to a new balance of casualties released by authorities yesterday, at least 37 people, including 13 minors, have died as a result of the fires that have hit northeastern Algeria for several days. The most affected region is El Tarf, where at least 30 people have been killed and more than 160 injured. The fires intensified on Wednesday, with more than 100 wells active. Interior Minister Kamal Beldjoud estimated that some 2,600 hectares of land had burned down and warned that high temperatures and high winds complicate the task of extinction.

Source: La Verdad


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