Climate change, pollution bring financial costs and diseases to Romania
Heat waves, floods, storms, and other phenomena caused by climate change, have led to losses of EUR 145 billion in the EU in the past decade. Romanians, moreover, point to air pollution as the cause of respiratory diseases.
Climate-related economic losses per individual at the EU level in 2020 averaged EUR 27, according to Eurostat data. The member state with the highest loss per capita, almost three times the EU average, was Greece (EUR 91 per capita), followed by France (EUR 62) and Ireland (EUR 42). The lowest losses per inhabitant were recorded in Bulgaria (EUR 0.7), Slovenia, and Slovakia (both EUR 4). In Romania, each resident loses EUR 19 annually due to climate change.
In 2020, the total climate-related economic losses were EUR 12 billion. The highest total loss was recorded in 2017 (EUR 27.9 billion), more than double that registered in 2020, as a result of the heatwaves registered in Europe that dried the land and caused wildfire conditions. The lowest total loss was observed in 2012 (EUR 3.7 billion).
Aside from being financially impacted by climate change, Romanians have also become increasingly aware of the effects of pollution on their health.
Most Romanians believe that respiratory diseases (85% versus 89% EU average), asthma (84% versus 88% EU average), and cardiovascular diseases are serious problems in their countries caused by air pollution (88% versus 83% EU average), according to a special Eurobarometer. Romanians are also concerned about environmental problems caused by air pollution in water bodies, such as acidification and eutrophication.
A majority of Romanians believe that businesses and the authorities should increase their efforts at improving the quality of air. More than a third believe that the quality of air has worsened in the last decade.