JRC research has made an important contribution to the first European Climate Risk Assessment report. Carried out by the European Environment Agency (EEA) at the request of the European Commission, the report identifies the many different economic and social risks that Europe will need to manage over the next decade due to the climate crisis.

Responding to these warnings and the latest climate science, the European Commission has today published a Communication that sets out how the EU, each EU country and European regions can work together to better anticipate, understand, and address growing climate risks. It further presents how they can prepare and implement policies that save lives, cut costs, and protect prosperity across the EU.

These proposals include improving support for natural ecosystems so that they are able to cope with and protect us from extreme weather events like droughts and floods. The proposals also aim to ensure that our energy and transport infrastructures are resilient and can adapt to increasingly frequent extreme temperatures.  

Working hand in hand with the EEA, JRC scientists have provided their expertise to author and share vital research data on many different climate-related risks to ensure that there is a strong evidence base for EU climate policy.

JRC scientists contributed to the report that outlines the many significant risks associated with the heating of the planet, which encompasses five major areas; Food, Health, Ecosystems, Infrastructure, Economy and finance. The JRC was able to make a significant contribution in particular in analysing the significant financial risks and the related impact on people and prosperity, financial institutions and firms, notably smaller ones.

The analysis also makes it possible to identify how climate actions are necessary for managing risk from both the environmental and economic point of view. This evidence base is also vital to improve our understanding of which geographies and sectors are most affected by the detrimental effects of climate change, as well as which tools can contribute to mitigating climate risk. 

Studying all aspects of climate risk 

As well as supporting the EEA, the JRC continues to provide scientific research and produces accessible reports that address many different aspects of climate risk. This ongoing work ensures that there is good data available to policymakers whenever it is needed. For example, the JRC has investigated how climate risks affect SMEs’ access to finance, their cost of capital, and their ability to repay debts.

Other areas of ongoing research include assessing the vulnerability of European SMEs to some nature-related risks. These challenges range from deteriorating soil quality for SMEs in the agricultural sector, to access to water for SMEs in regions suffering from seasonal water stress and how these risks are likely to be exacerbated by unsustainable use over the next decade. 


On 12 March 2024, the European Commission adopted the Communication Managing climate risks – protecting people and prosperity. The communication sets out the policy actions needed in the coming years to help manage the various climate risks identified in the first European Climate Risk Assessment (EUCRA) report from the European Environment Agency, as well as other recent evidence including from the JRC.  

The European Climate Law requires the Union and Member States to ensure continuous progress on adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability. Member States are improving adaptation action and have taken the first steps to consider climate resilience in their National Energy and Climate Plans. This planning requires a sound, trustworthy science base to inform policymaking. Through its ongoing research and various observatories, the JRC makes a significant contribution to developing this strong base of science to guide climate action.