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Romania - Climate

An emergency system to warn the public about extreme weather phenomena has become a government priority after the storms that swept through Western Romania during the evening of 17 September 2017. Damages were reported in 212 localities in 15 counties, namely Alba, Arad, Bihor, Bistrita-Nasaud, Brasov, Cluj, Caras-Severin, Hunedoara, Harghita, Iasi, Maramures, Mures, Suceava, Salaj and Timis. At the same time, the road and railway infrastructure in Western and Northern Romania was impacted by the storm. President Klaus Iohannis has asked the Government to implement urgently an emergency population warning system. The President argued that the Sunday storms showed the inefficiency of the population warning system.

Romania is a large country and has different climate zones. There are significant regional differences of the climate between different regions of Romania. On the south eastern border of the country is the Black Sea which can have temperate climates. In most parts of the country however, one can expect cold winters and hot summers with snow in winter.

Romania has a temperate climate, similar to the northeastern United States, with four distinct seasons. Spring is pleasant with cool mornings and nights and warm days. Summer is quite warm, with extended sunny days. The hottest areas in summer are the lowlands in southern and eastern Romania where 100 F is often reached in July and August. Temperatures are always cooler in the mountains. Autumn is dry and cool, with fields and trees producing colorful foliage, much like New England. Winters can be cold, especially in the mountains. While not the rule, abundant snowfalls may occur throughout the country, from December to mid-March.

In Romania, the effects of the climate changes on agriculture, forestry, water management and human settlements represent an ever- important preoccupation. The modification of the regional and local climate conditions has influenced the ecosystems and the human settlements and the infrastructure from Romania. Temperature and precipitations, extreme meteorological events (storms, floods, droughts) occurred as well as more frequent risks of related damages. The areas affected by aridity extended in Romania in the last decades. The areas most exposed to drought are in the southeast of the country. In the years 2000 and 2007, almost the entire territory of the country was affected by a long time drought. Together with the floods, the long periods of drought cause important economic losses in agriculture, transports and supply of energy, water management, health and households.

The impact of climate change is already being felt in Romania, 2007 was the warmest year in two decades (average temperature 11.5 C). In 2005, Romania suffered from historic floods which caused 76 deaths and significant property damage, and 2007 brought the country's most severe drought in the last 60 years. Heavy rain in April and May of 2005 caused Romania's worst floods in 50 years, causing at least 1.66 billion Euro in damage. This represents 2.1% of Romanian GDP.

Flooding has also impacted about 656,392 ha agricultural land, 10,420 km roads, 23.8 km of railway, 9,113 bridges and foot bridges and contaminated 90,394 wells. In late June 2010 floods were the result of an extreme weather event that struck Romania. At least 21 people died and the economic losses were about 0.6% of the GDP. Romania was impacted by the droughts and water scarcity in 2002, 2003, 2011 and 2012. The frequency of wildfires in Romania has increased in the recent past. The damage caused by wildfires can be substantial especially from an economic point of view. In 2013, 33% of the recorded fires in Romania were wildfires.

Drought is one of the major natural processes of interest for agriculture. In Romania, from a total surface of 237.500 km2, 62% are agricultural lands approximately 14.7 million ha categorized according to usage in arable land, pastures, vineyards and orchards. Frequent and prolonged drought affects 7.1 million ha, which represent 48% from the total agricultural land (2006). Flood Hazard and Risk Maps available at national level for Areas with Potential Significant Flood Risk, but the effects of climate change has not been taken into account in the modeling of elaboration of hazardous and risk maps, as it was reported to the EU, in 2014; the CC will be considered for the 2nd cycle of reporting.

Romania's position is reflected in the overall position of the European Union. The Community Forum took global leadership in combating climate change, committing unilaterally to reduce, by 2020, at Community level, the emissions of greenhouse gases by 20 % from the level recorded in 1990. The EU is also committed to move to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions if other developed countries commit to reduce their gas emissions to comparable levels and if the more economically advanced developing countries commit as well to contribute significantly to the global effort to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases, according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Romania believes that the Agreement signed in Paris sends a clear signal to investors, businesses and policy makers on the global transition towards low carbon economy and guides actions globally on the path of limiting the global average temperature increase below 2 C. At the same time, the Agreement is the first legally binding multilateral instrument on climate change with universal participation.

In Romania, the central competencies within the field of climate change adaptation are assigned to the Ministry of Environment, through the General Directorate for Green Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The Government policy on climate change is assisted by the National Commission on Climate Change set up as an advisory body in 1996 and up dated in 2006 in order to provide equal and consistent implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol throughout the country. The National Commission on Climate Change comprises representatives from line ministries and one NGO with competencies in climate change.

Romania is committed to fighting climate change and pursuing low carbon development. Therefore, the Government of Romania, through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MECC), has requested the World Bank to provide advisory services to help meet this commitment. Integration of both mitigation and adaptation actions into Romanias national strategies, policies, and programs will be a critical step in shifting its development path towards a climate resilient, low carbon and green economy.

The Program implemented jointly by the World Bank and MECC aims to enable Romania to advance towards attaining the Europe 2020 Strategy objective which provides EU Member States a framework and means for moving towards a greener and more competitive low carbon economy that makes efficient use of resources and is resilient to climate risk.

In order to meet EU requirements for future use of EU funds, the Government of Romania needs to complete the 2014-2020 Operational Programs which must incorporate climate change issues. This component assists the government to identify eligible CC actions for the EU-funded Operational Programs. Rapid assessment of sectoral actions is conducted in six key sectors energy, transport, urban, water, agriculture, and forestry.

The Action Plan includes state-funded adaptation actions mandated by the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in order to counteract the potentially negative impact that climate change might have for the Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) sector. As is the case with the mitigation measures for ARD, many of the proposed adaptation actions derive from the 2014-2020 NRDP with key actions aimed at ensuring that farmers and rural communities are adequately informed on the risks and uncertainties that come with the changing climate and encouraging them to adopt farm practices that will allow them to better cope with weather uncertainties.

The insurance sector will not only be affected by climate change, but could also play a decisive role in the processes of adaptation to this phenomenon. Existing programs in Romania will require support as their presence and scope remain limited. In addition, new insurance products can be developed targeting specifically the consequences of climate change.

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Page last modified: 24-09-2017 18:53:28 ZULU