The current climate situation in the city and the future projections imply a whole series of consequences that will affect the day-to-day life of the city and its inhabitants.

Rising temperatures, reduced availability of water, increased flooding and shrinking beaches are some of the vulnerabilities that Barcelona will have to tackle as these will have implications for health, quality of life and people’s safety.

In order to prepare for these scenarios, Barcelona City Council carried out a series of studies to find out which are the most important challenges the city will have to face as a result of climate change and what effects they will have on infrastructures and people’s lives. The details of these studies can be viewed in the attached documents:

The biggest climate change challenges that Barcelona will have to face are:

Rising temperatures

It will be hotter in the city, with direct impacts on health.

Reduced availability of water

There will be less potable water in a context of drought and rising temperatures.

Increased flooding

There will be a greater risk of flooding, with irregular and torrential rain.

Shrinking beaches

The beaches will shrink.

Based on the challenges analysed, work has been carried out to determine the effects it will have on the following areas:

  • People's health. Citizens’ health will be affected by the heat, by insect-borne diseases and by scarcer water resources.
  • People’s quality of life and public safety. Inequalities will become more marked and there will be more social conflicts.
  • Guaranteeing basic supplies. It will not always be possible to guarantee the supply of basic resources such as energy and water.
  • Cost of living. The cost of living will be directly affected by the possible rise in the price of fossil fuels, on which we are still dependent, and of products derived from these or which are transported from far away.
  • Environment. Biodiversity and nature in the city, both plants and wildlife, will be affected by the predicted climate change.

Study on the impacts of climate change in Barcelona

Based on research conducted by the AMB, Barcelona Regional and the Catalan Meteorological Service have analysed how the climate in the area will change and what effects this will have on the city. Consult the studies.

More specifically, they have analysed how the city will be affected in certain areas:

Heat island effect

This effect has increased in the last decade, and it is possible that it is affected directly by the rising temperatures together with the more intense solar radiation.

Documents: Heat island effect – See full study

Heat waves

In the committed scenario, there may be eight times as many heat waves by the end of the century.

Documents: Heat waves – See full study

Urban flood risk

In the two future scenarios analysed, flooding is forecast in some places because of a lack of drainage.

Documents: Urban flood risk – See full study

Coastal flooding

In the worst of the two scenarios, the beach of Sant Sebastià could disappear and the premises by some of the beaches could be flooded.

Documents: Coastal flooding – See full study


Some species will be affected and a loss of biodiversity is expected.

Documents: Biodiversity – See full study

Forest fires

The risk of fires during the hottest months will increase, which means more GHG emissions due to the combustion of biomass.

Documents: Forest fires – See full study


Air quality

Climate change could lead to an increase in the annual concentration of atmospheric pollutants.

Documents: Air quality – See full study

Water cycle

The availability of water resources will be less stable, with more periods of drought and more flooding.

Documents: Water cycle – See full study

Energy flows

Climate change will mean a change in energy consumption patterns.

Documents: Energy flows – See full study 

Risk to infrastructures

Apart from the city's beaches, the infrastructures that could be worst affected by climate change are the sanitation and transport systems.

Documents: Risk to infrastructures – See full study


In Barcelona, we already have emergency plans for heat waves and drought, and other sector specific plans and programmes, so we are not starting from scratch.