Climate Change in Albania

September 17, 2013

Many countries are increasingly vulnerable to destructive weather events - floods, droughts, windstorms, or other parameters. The vulnerability is driven in part by recent extremes in climate variability but also countries' sensitivity to events exarbated by past practices, socioeconomic conditions, or legacy issues. The degree to which vulnerability to weather affects the countries' economies is driven by their coping or adaptive capacities.

Albania is one of the most vulnerable in the region to changing climate trends. Changing weather patterns have already been observed over the last 15 years with increasing temperatures, decreasing precipitation, and more frequent extreme events like floods and droughts. Ask any small hydropower plant operator or small-scale farmer whether the snowfall has been less and less and whether it melts earlier and faster than in previous years. Projections indicate a decline in summer rainfalls of about 10 percent by 2020 and 20 percent by 2050. Two sectors that are acutely impacted by these shifts in climate are energy and agriculture.

Climate Change and Energy in Albania

Shifts in climate are projected to have significant impacts on the energy sector in Albania. In order to address these impending challenges, policy makers in the country and working with the World Bank Group on different initiatives. As part of this collaboration, a pilot vulnerability, risk, and adaptation assessment was undertaken for Albania's energy sector to raise awareness and initiate dialogue on energy sector adaptation. This pilot assessment demonstrates an approach that can be used to help countries and energy stakeholders develop policies and projects that are robust in the face of climatic uncertainties, and assist them in managing energy concerns as the climate changes.

Climate Change and Agriculture in Albania

Climate change is already underway in the Europe and Central Asia region and it is accelerating, reinforcing the need for immediate, medium-, and long-term solutions which can help everyone involved in agriculture to reduce its adverse impacts. Changes in precipitation patterns, rising temperatures, and increases in the frequency and severity of natural disasters are forcing people to address these impacts in new and innovative ways and begin adapting to a changing climate. While these changes in climate and their resulting effects on agriculture will have an impact on the global population at large, it is the rural populations who are most vulnerable.

The World Bank Group is working with Albania to help the country's agriculture sector better adapt to the potential impacts of climate change. With increases in precipitation and more natural disasters expected in the country over the next five decades, the country is working with farmers to help better understand the consequences of these changes and helping to mitigate many of the most serious consequences resulting from shifts in climate. Looking Beyond the Horizon: How Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Responses Will Reshape Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia examines the challenges and opportunities being created in the agriculture sector in Albania and explores ways in which the country can address these issues.