Creating workable scenarios to deal with climate change

It is widely accepted that the climate is changing and that the impact of this is likely to be severe. EU-funded research has proposed various pathways for adapting to climate change through an integrated and cross-sector approach.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


  Infocentre

Published: 13 February 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnvironmentClimate & global change  |  Sustainable development
Information societyInformation technology
International cooperation
Research policySeventh Framework Programme
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Austria  |  Belgium  |  Bulgaria  |  Denmark  |  Finland  |  Germany  |  Hungary  |  Italy  |  Netherlands  |  Portugal  |  Romania  |  Spain  |  Sweden  |  Switzerland  |  United Kingdom
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Creating workable scenarios to deal with climate change

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© Leo Lintang #138643877, 2019 source:stock.adobe.com

Predicting the consequences of climate change is highly complex as it interacts with and is influenced by many other factors, including socio-economic change, human capacity to adapt, consumption patterns and sustainability goals.

To try to make sense of such complexities and help European policymakers design solutions based on sound information, the EU-funded IMPRESSIONS project has developed an innovative modelling framework. This is based on four possible scenarios which the team has applied to five case studies in Scotland, Iberia, Hungary, Europe as a whole, and Central Asia.

The project used a wide range of different models to explore the impacts of high-end climate change on agriculture, biodiversity, urban development, forestry, water resources, flooding and human health. It considered interactions between these different sectors as they compete for resources such as land, water and energy and, where possible, took account of interactions across scales, such as how trade flows at the global level define the level of food imports to Europe. 

Finding the right path

‘Three main pathways emerged as common to all studies,’ says project coordinator Professor Paula Harrison. ‘These are the areas that stakeholders felt really underpinned efforts to adapt and cope with climate change.’

They include: shifting towards sustainable lifestyles through education and awareness raising; good governance with longer-term visions based on sustainability, transparency and participation; and integrated resource management that takes account of the multifunctional nature of our landscapes and aims to ensure both resource security and environmental protection, whilst moving towards self sufficiency.

The results of the IMPRESSIONS project are presented on the High-End Solutions Information Hub. This online platform provides all the outputs of the project in an easily accessible format, and addresses five main questions:

What could a future above 2 °C look like? What are the consequences of a future above 2 °C? What do we want the future to look like? How do we get there? Who and what are the solutions?

‘One of the key messages to emerge from our research is just how interdependent all of these global issues are,’ says Harrison. ‘In order to develop robust and sustainable solutions, it is vital that we take account of this interdependence. Policy, like science, cannot operate efficiently in a silo,’ she concludes.

Project details

  • Project acronym: IMPRESSIONS
  • Participants: United Kingdom (Coordinator), Portugal, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Swtizerland
  • Project N°: 603416
  • Total costs: € 11 288 441
  • EU contribution: € 8 914 935
  • Duration: November 2013 to October 2018

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