How will climate change affect Barcelona?

The City Council is looking into how climate change will affect the city at a local level, in order to lessen its impact and be prepared. There are huge differences in the potential impact of climate change if we act on a global scale to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) conducted a study of the region’s climate along with the Barcelona Regional development agency and Catalan Meteorological Service, to analyse climate projects on a more local scale. Barcelona City Council has continued this work to find out in more detail how climate change will affect the area around Barcelona, particularly in relation to high temperatures.

Three time periods have been analysed (2011-2040; 2041-2070 and 2071-2100) and two main scenarios: the first, what will happen if, from now on, we take action and adopt measures to mitigate climate change in line with the COP21 agreements in Paris (not exceeding average earth temperature by more than 2ºC and doing everything possible to ensure we do not exceed it by more than 1.5ºC) , which we have called the “committed” scenario; the second, what would the temperature and precipitation forecasts be like if from today, and over the coming years, we do not apply any measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, which we have called the “passive” scenario.

The results of these studies show that there are major differences between acting and not acting.

If, on a global scale, we managed to put the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions, the average temperature in Barcelona by the end of the century would increase by 1.7°C. If we do not meet global emissions reduction targets, however, this increase could be as high as 3°C.

The main effects of climate change on Barcelona:

  • People’s health and survival
  • People’s quality of life and public safety
  • Guaranteeing basic supplies
  • Cost of living
  • Environment

The biggest climate change challenges that Barcelona will have to face are:

Based on research conducted by the AMB, Barcelona Regional and the Catalan Meteorological Service have analysed how the climate in the area will change and what effects this will have on the city. Consult the studies