There is now widespread acceptance that the climate is changing due to human-related greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change will affect all sectors of society and the environment at the local, national and global scales.
Consequently, decision-makers, planners, the private sector and citizens need, more than ever, to be able to access reliable science-based information to help them respond to the risks of climate change.
The overall aim of the EU-funded CLIMSAVE project, ('Climate change integrated assessment methodology for cross-sectoral adaptation and vulnerability in Europe'), is to help in the assessment of the impact of climate change over a range of environmental and economic areas in different regions.
Led by the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford, the project is putting science in the service of stakeholders and policy-makers. Specifically, CLIMSAVE is:
- analysing policy and governance responses;
- identifying vulnerable hotspots;
- analysing the cost effectiveness of different adaptation measures;
- investigating uncertainty to help in the assessment of policy options;
- integrating stakeholder input through participatory scenarios.
The project is making its findings accessible and useful to the widest possible audience through a user-friendly, interactive web-based platform.
The CLIMSAVE platform takes into account the interconnected nature of different sectors. It helps stakeholders examine and better understand climate change impacts and identify vulnerabilities in agriculture and forestry, biodiversity, coasts, water resources and urban development.
The platform can also be used to investigate possible climate and socio-economic scenarios and the negative and positive effects on ecosystem services. The platform has already been tested and applied in two case studies: a local one, in Scotland, and a pan-European one.
CLIMSAVE partners believe their new platform will allow users to explore and discover where, when and under what circumstances particular actions may be of benefit to societies. It will also help stakeholders to explore and understand the interactions between different sectors, rather than viewing their own sector in isolation.
The platform further highlights the cost-effectiveness and cross-sectorial impact of different adaptation options. The aim is to provide policymakers with the best information to help them develop robust responses to climate change.
The platform will be made publicly available in October 2013, at CLIMSAVE's web site and via a link on the EU's Climate Adaptation Platform.
Explore further: Solving the climate change vulnerabilities jigsaw