Europe is unprepared for rapidly growing climate risks, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The statement follows the publication of the first ever European Climate Risk Assessment, aimed at identifying policy priorities for climate change adaption, which found that Europe’s actions are not keeping pace with the rapidly growing risks.

Europe is the fastest warming continent in the world and the assessment has identified 36 major climate risks for the continent, with eight of those considered ‘urgent’. According to the EEA, climate risks are threatening Europe’s energy and food security, ecosystems, infrastructure, water resources, financial stability and people’s health.

It states that ‘closer co-operation is key’ to addressing risks, with the need for the EU and its member states to work together and to also involve regional and local levels.

EEA Executive Director, Leena Ylä-Mononen, said: “Our new analysis shows that Europe faces urgent climate risks that are growing faster than our societal preparedness. To ensure the resilience of our societies, European and national policymakers must act now to reduce climate risks both by rapid emission cuts and by strong adaptation policies and actions.”