Linking business and climate services to create market growth
Currently, there is a large, untapped market for climate services with gaps in the demand and supply. An EU-funded project is providing insight into the climate service market - reducing barriers for business and encouraging European market growth.
© ekapolsira #256443844, source: stock.adobe.com 2019
Making climate data, products and services more accessible for business, as well as providing support for companies and decision-makers facing environmental and climate change will encourage eco-friendly and climate-resilient communities. Such actions could also encourage market growth.
To help boost the commercial uptake of climate services in Europe, the EU-funded MARCO project collated data from market research firms, climate scientists and innovators in the climate change sector. Based on this research, the project analysed current market conditions provided recommendations on how to stimulate market growth for climate services in Europe.
MARCO also conducted research to determine what businesses may need to be able to use climate services and how these needs are currently not being met. In addition, the project team looked at the business opportunities available to promote market growth, connecting climate service providers and users as well as forecasting future user needs.
Both the market analysis and forecasts will help inform EU policymakers and the private sector of the opportunities for growth in the climate services market.
At the moment, a lot of climate change data has been collected, but the results are still very research orientated, says MARCOs scientific project manager Eric Hoa, of Climate-KIC in France.
People in the business world dont know about this research. They dont have support on how to use these tools. MARCO is using this research in a more practical way to make potential users aware of what already exists and what can be further tailored to their needs.
Overcoming market barriers
Currently, there are many barriers preventing the widespread uptake of the climate services market. In addition to the mismatch between available climate information and services and business needs, many end-users have difficulty in finding data and services that are easy to understand and implement by non-experts.
MARCO aims to implement four approaches to overcome these barriers: looking at demand, foresight, supply and opportunities. The project examined user needs and the triggers that could shift them to consume climate services.
The team carried out a foresight exercise to forecast market growth to 2030. It assessed the supply side of the market and the opportunities available to propel market growth, indicating where demand is high but where few or no services are provided.
Case by case
MARCO conducted its research through nine sectoral case studies: tourism in Austria, real estate in Copenhagen, the mining sector in the EU, legal services in London, renewable energy in Denmark, water supply and sanitation in Catalonia, critical energy infrastructures in Germany, forestry and agriculture in France, and urban infrastructure in Munich.
Each study looked at a key economic sector in each region. In the German study, for example, the project examined how climate services can help prevent the destruction of critical energy infrastructures caused by natural disasters. Any damage to these systems could have a significant negative impact on the EUs security and citizens well-being.
Most business-as-usual scenarios do not reflect the reality of climate change yet, but the need to integrate climate risks into decision-making and planning will become stronger, says Hoa. Climate services are not yet seen as a clear and sexy topic, but if there is a support system it will help the market to grow faster.
Hoa points out that being able to provide some forecasting market intelligence on climate services for a region or a sector will allow purveyors to explore market opportunities and end-users to plan better and adapt to the changes. In regions where drought is expected, for example, plans can be made to select and invest in more climate-resilient types of crops.
He uses the wine industry as an example. As the climate changes, the taste of the wine might change, he says. The wine-grower might be on the same land, using the same crops and processes, but the taste will be different. Climate services can help this sector better understand what could happen and implement adaptation strategies.
The project is the foundation step of a bigger objective. Ultimately, the aim is to take all this research and frame it into one evolving platform an EU market observatory on climate services.
This would be a central hub businesses could use to get practical support for finding solutions to climate change and to share best practices which can be adapted and replicated by other regions or sectors.