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The latest research suggests climate change will strike harder and faster than previously predicted, with weather-related disasters becoming more common.

Developing countries are most likely to be the hardest hit but Europe will not escape unscathed and as a result the commission is proposing that EU member countries start to think now about how to adapt to climate change.

Stavros Dimas, the EU’s environment commissioner, said: “We must continue to work hard to reduce carbon emissions, but we must also adapt to the reality of climate change.

“There is no doubt that despite what is achieved, some amount of climate change is inevitable and irreversible.

“If we are to adapt to a different climate, a clearer idea of what to expect is needed.”

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