The risk of rising average sea levels and extreme weather phenomena that trigger cascading effects such as the current drought must be taken into account in the "strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change to avoid additional losses and damages" for Portugal, says ZERO in a statement.

According to the report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the planet is 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than in the pre-industrial era and this "is already affecting natural and human systems in Europe", with a "substantial increase" in phenomena that cause "loss and damage to ecosystems, food systems, infrastructure, energy and water availability, economy and public health".

In southern countries, such as Portugal, "cooling needs" increase, water is scarce and agricultural productivity decreases, while in the north of the continent, more agricultural income and expansion of forests are expected in the short term.

Around the world, "dangerous dependence on fossil fuels" causes more poverty, lack of food security, loss of water quality, species extinction and "global damage" in a way that the current report proves to be more serious than the estimates of the earlier, released in 2014.

Urgent measures

"Without urgent measures to limit global warming to 1.5°C, adaptation to climate change will be more costly, less efficient and, in some cases, simply impossible, resulting in unavoidable loss and damage," says ZERO.

ZERO calls for more money to be mobilized for adaptation to climate change, especially among the most developed countries, so that at the next UN climate conference, scheduled for this year in Egypt, a financing mechanism can be reached to compensate for losses and damages.

"Loss and damage is not an abstract issue for the future; it is already affecting 1.7 billion people worldwide, and the number of people affected will increase significantly in the coming years", points out the association.