In a set of reports on “economics for disaster prevention and preparedness in Member States and countries of the European Union”, published by the World Bank (in a project carried out in partnership and financed by the European Commission) indicates that “2023 was the year hottest on record, with disasters across Europe costing more than 77 billion euros”.

In Portugal alone, the cost of the 2023 forest fires amounted to 3.77 billion euros, covering a burned area of 36,498 hectares, according to the calculations of this international financial institution.

Even so, last year in the country, the number of hectares of land burned compared to the annual average of forest fires since 2006 was 62% less, with Portugal being the seventh country in the European Union (EU) with the least damage caused by fires ( behind Sweden, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Netherlands, and Slovenia).

In a statement, the World Bank highlights that “Europe is warming faster than any other continent and is highly vulnerable to the growing risks associated with climate change”, having recorded, in recent decades, “overwhelming - and growing - losses and destruction due to climate-related disasters.”

For this reason, the EU needs, in the view of the international financial institution, “smart investments to strengthen resilience to disasters, adaptation and financing the response to climate and disaster risks”.

Especially because “the projected costs of inaction in a high warming scenario could reach 7% of the EU's GDP [Gross Domestic Product]”, warns the World Bank.