EU's disaster response fund at limit as climate crises mount

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The European Commission warned that the EU urgently needs more funding to respond to climate change-fuelled crises after its emergency aid reserve was exhausted in both 2021 and 2022.

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Getty ImagesThe emergency aid reserve was exhausted in 2021 and 2022, and natural disasters have increased this year.

Europe is emerging from another summer of extreme weather and climate impacts. Devastating floods in Slovenia killed at least six people, Greece was battered by deadly wildfires and storms and record-breaking drought ravaged farming in Spain. The EU's solidarity and emergency aid reserve, which helps European countries in an emergency, has a maximum annual budget of 1.2 billion euros ($1.29 billion).

"We need more financial reinforcement," Lenarcic said, adding that bigger investments are also needed to prevent disasters, for example, through sustainable forest management to limit fires, and cut the CO2 emissions causing climate change.

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