Heatwaves, extremely low rainfall, intensive agriculture, lack of protective forest cover and measures to adapt to climate change have put Europe in a critical situation. Half of the EU countries are facing extreme drought affecting crops, river and lake flows, community water supplies, hydro and nuclear energy production, shipping. In addition, severe drought is triggering and sustaining increasingly frequent and aggressive vegetation fires.
The whole of Europe is facing one of the driest years on record, caused by the climate crisis. Due to high water temperatures in the Garonne river, France has shut down some of its nuclear reactors, which can no longer be cooled. Cargo ships plying Europe's river networks are loaded to half or even a quarter of capacity. In Romania, river flows have fallen to historic lows. 700 towns in half the country have restricted water supplies. More than 240,000 hectares of agricultural crops are affected by drought. As a result of the decrease in the flow of the Danube, the Iron Gates hydropower stations are operating at reduced capacity. Hydro power production has also decreased elsewhere in the country, putting additional pressure on the national energy system. At the beginning of August, the Danube flow at the entrance to the country was 1860 m3/s, half the multi-year average for August (4300 m3/s). At a flow of 1800 m3/s, the Cernavodă nuclear power plant should be shut down.
Vlad Cătună, Greenpeace Romania campaigns coordinator: "What is currently happening to the Danube, the Jiul and other river basins throughout the country should make the authorities act NOW! Climate change is here and it is affecting us strongly, it is no longer just news from far away places like Antarctica or Australia. River flows have reached very low levels and the outlook for the coming months is not good. According to weather forecasts, the drought will continue, putting pressure on the country's energy system, food security and water supply. However, the Romanian Government has been delaying for over 2 years the implementation of the strategy to meet the Paris Agreement commitments."
Greenpeace is calling on the Romanian government to urgently implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that fuel the climate crisis, as well as vital adaptation solutions such as planting a national network of protective forests to help us fight desertification.