The three Italian regions hit hardest by the climate crisis

Elaine Allaby
Elaine Allaby - [email protected]
The three Italian regions hit hardest by the climate crisis
Firemen assess the damage caused by a landslide in Laglio on July 28, 2021, after heavy rain caused floods in towns surrounding Lake Como in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP.

Three Italian regions are among the top 10 most at-risk parts of Europe set to suffer the worst effects of the climate crisis, a new study has revealed.


The northern Italian regions of Veneto, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna rank fourth, fifth and eighth respectively on a list of ten European regions predicted to be most exposed to extreme weather events by 2050.

The findings were published by the Cross Dependency Initiative or XDI Systems, a platform that provides climate change risk analysis services.

XDI's Gross Domestic Climate Risk dataset models the impacts of climate change from 1990 to 2050 across 2,600 global territories.


Niedersachsen in Germany tops the list of Europe's most at-risk areas, followed by Vlaanderen in Belgium and Krasnodar in Russia.

READ ALSO: Why Italy is braced for another major drought this spring

Veneto, Lombardy and Hauts-de-France come next, with Stavropol in Russia, Emilia Romagna, Bayern in Germany and Rostov in Russia completing the top ten.

The analysis focuses on eight different climate hazards, including extreme heat, forest fires, drought-related soil movement, flooding, coastal inundation, extreme wind and freeze thaw.

Europe is particularly vulnerable to river and surface flooding, coastal inundation and forest fires, the report says.

XDI's analysis focuses in particular on the cost of damage to property and infrastructure as a result of extreme weather, using what the company refers to as a 'Damage Ratio' as its key metric.

Venice and Milan are both singled out as European cities expected to suffer a particularly high Damage Ratio in 2050, along with Antwerp, Hanover and Lille.

Veneto, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna were among five Italian regions that last year declared a state of emergency as a result of a record-breaking drought, with meteorologists already fearing that 2023 could be even worse.


Historic flooding in Venice, the capital of the Veneto region, in 2019 was estimated by the city's mayor to have caused one billion euros' worth of damage.

In September 2022, the Italian farmers’ association Coldiretti released figures based on data from the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD) showing that Italy had experienced a five-fold rise in extreme weather events over the past ten years.

"We are seeing the clear consequences of climate change, as exceptional weather events are now the norm in Italy," the organisation said.


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