Climate change has been observed in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) through higher temperature,changing precipitation and runoff patterns, and extreme weather, leading to reported increasing incidences of weather-induced disasters in many countries of the region, such as floods, droughts, wild fires, strong winds, and heat and cold waves.
With climate change contributing to an increase in disaster risk, disaster risk management becomes a vitaland urgent component of any climate change adaptation program. As part of climate change adaptation policies and investments, ECA countries need to focus on reducing their vulnerability and planning for measures to mitigate natural disaster risks.
The paper reviews the current knowledge on the implications of climate change for extreme weather and analyzes the ability of ECA countries to mitigate and manage the impact of extreme events. It recommends a variety of measures in the areas of financial and fiscal policy, disaster risk mitigation, and emergency preparedness and management to reduce current and future vulnerabilities.
Taking into account the projected impact of climate change, the reduction of current and future vulnerabilities to climate change risk should build on and expand existing disaster risk management efforts. This paper highlights the importance of investing in “win-win” options. Regardless of the accuracy in climate change predictions, reduction of current weather-related disaster risk will reduce losses and initiate necessary actions for climate change adaptation. Planning for extreme weather events also supports preparedness for a variety of other emergencies and, therefore, brings additional benefits.