Report highlights ecological and economic vulnerability
The Balearic islands’ economic reliance on tourism makes them especially vulnerable to global warming, a new report from the EU states. The report, ´Regions 2020’, focuses on the different regions of Europe and assesses their vulnerability. The Balearics, it warns, will suffer from an increasing incidence of violent rains, droughts and rising summer temperatures, making them an unattractive destination for holidaymakers.
Any downturn in the tourism industry is likely to hit the islands´ economies hard, the report states. An over-reliance on the tourist dollar has led the region to possess one of the least skilled and educated workforces in Europe, meaning it is least able to adapt to new economic circumstances.
Another worrying factor is the distribution of human settlements, all of which are clustered around the coast or fragile river systems, and are thus more vulnerable to water and energy shortages. The authors of the report have developed a vulnerability index to take all of these factors into account, in which the islands score badly, with almost all regions in western Europe coming out better off. A lack of energy efficiency and over-reliance on fossil fuels are also noted with respect to the islands.
To conclude, the report states that there is a situation of declining international competitiveness caused by the rigidity of the economic system which is likely to agitate social problems.