Special Report: Sea Level rise – A crucial challenge for the future of cities and communities, ecosystems and the heritage, in our world upset by the Covid-19 Outbreak


The IED is following for many years the issue of Climate change and its multi-faceted impact on humanity and the environment. Sea level rise represents one of its strategic impacts.

The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), recently released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), expects global sea levels to most likely rise between 0.29 mm and 1.1 m by the end of this century.

In November 2019, the iconic and fragile city of Venice was hit by an exceptional Acqua alta, with serious consequences for the city's life and economy and for a cultural heritage that belongs to Humanity.

Even a small increase in sea levels can have devastating impacts on coastal habitats, it can cause destructive erosion, wetland flooding, aquifer and agricultural soil contamination with salt, and lost habitat for fish, birds, and plants. Flooding in low-lying coastal areas is forcing people to migrate to higher ground, with millions of people vulnerable to flood risk.

Considering the emergency of the situation and the necessity, especially for EU leaders, to act, protect populations and prevent catastrophic scenarios, the IED is publishing a research project titled:
"Sea Level rise, a crucial challenge for the future of cities and communities, ecosystems and the heritage, in our world upset by the Covid-19 Outbreak"
gathering a series of scientific articles and reports. The publication is illustrated with graphs, maps and infographics, which make it a comprehensive and pedagogic instrument for decision makers and citizens.

The IED is convinced that countering and limiting the effects of rising sea and ocean levels is an important part of the crucial commitment of our time to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change.

Introducing the publication, Francesco Rutelli, the President of the Institute of European Democrats, links the content of this innovative work with the current COVID-19 crisis:

"The crisis that has paralysed the world since March 2020 hasn't happened out of the blue: all the conditions for it to arise were in place, and in addition we were caught unprepared, without adequate preventative or counter-measures.
The climate crisis is already underway and it will certainly bring the consequences analysed in this work, among others. Unless we manage to take the necessary, widely-known measures in a rational, planned and shared manner, we will not be able to stop and reverse the current course of events.
This leads us to think that the post-COVID-19 period will bring greater attention to the need to face global threats which until recently were indeed considered 'distant'.
Now, the challenge is to have the European Union fully on board."

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