Climate change refers to the change in global climate that is attributed to human activity and is mainly caused by the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The most characteristic feature of climate change is the rising global average temperature, which also implies rising sea levels, floods, droughts, extreme weather events, extinction of species and ecosystems. The average temperature of the planet has already increased by about 1o C relative to pre-industrial levels. As far as Greece is concerned, current research by the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC) suggests that the rise in temperature could be up to 6o C by 2100 without international action to curb climate change. Moreover, climate change is expected to have significant social and economic impacts, such as spread of diseases, mass refugee and migration flows, declining production, rising product prices, job losses and, ultimately, significant lifestyle changes. Scientific studies, as well as the already visible effects of climate change, point to a need for mitigation action, i.e. to halt the rise in global average temperature by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as for adaptation action to reduce the damage it entails.
The Bank of Greece is one of the first central banks to respond to the issue of climate change. In early 2009, it set up the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee (CCISC) with a view to providing climate research and projections as invaluable input towards the design of mitigation and adaptation policies.