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Tool Supported Development for Regional Adaptation to assist EU nations in reducing vulnerability to climate change



Adaptation in the face of climate change is currently a major challenge, not only in the EU, but all around the world. Climate change has two distinct characters: the slower trends in climatic variables such as sea water temperature, and the extreme weather phenomena, such as heavy precipitation. The fundamental driver for regional adaptation are regional climate scenarios. Crucial for local societies is the resilience of critical infrastructures, such as Energy and Transport, against the envisaged climate scenarios. Without proper functioning of such infrastructures, many service sectors, such as Tourism, will be negatively affected. ToPDAd (Tool Supported Development for Regional Adaptation) develops state-of-the-art socioeconomic methods and tools for an integrated assessment supporting regional adaptation decision-making.


ToPDAd logo sized

Based on these, conjectures with respect to EU level policies for the considered sectors Energy, Transport and Tourism are made. Two time frames are specified; 2010-2050 and 2050-2100 for mid-term and long-term strategy formulations. Regional strategies and EU-level policies need to be consistent across the time frames in order to avoid maladaptation. ToPDAd is also developing the European Climate Adaptation Platform (CLIMATE-ADAPT). The CLIMATE-ADAPT is key for continuous learning, and a repository of data and tools supporting adaptation decision-making.
The ToPDaD project is funded by the EU under a 4.5M euro contract led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The partners in the project are:
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Center for International Climate and Environmental Research
  • Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research
  • Joanneum Research
  • Transport & Mobility Leuven
  • University of East Anglia
  • Institute for Transport Planning and Systems
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • Institute of Economic Structures Research
  • Wageningen UR
4CMR is leading tool development on adaptation strategies and vulnerability reduction in regard to energy provision; performing a gap analysis for adaptation studies and their ability to contribute to policy decisions; and providing stakeholder engagement.
ToPDAd is utilizing, refining and integrating existing methods and tools addressing technical and economic development in the key sectors energy, transport and tourism, assessing their aggregated impacts on health, environment and regional/national/EU-wide economics. The starting point is the methods and tools brought to the project by the partners. This includes a Clearing House Mechanism as an IT tool and database on climate change impact, vulnerability and best practices on adaptation. The Clearing House Mechanism contributes to the Shared Environmental Information System, the collaborative initiative by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) to establish with the Member States an integrated and shared EU-wide environmental information system.

ToPDAd flow diagram
The flow of our calculations is shown in the figure above. The particular tasks of the project are:
  1. Define the starting point for the cross-sectoral and aggregate modelling (e.g. what energy systems and transport modes as well as data sources are included)
  2. Develop climate scenarios, based on evidence from available studies, for the time frames 2010-2050 and 2050-2100, such that they are relevant for the key infrastructure sectors Energy, Transport and the service sector Tourism
  3. Improve linkages of sector/meso- and macro-level models (bottom-up vs. top-down approaches)
  4. Implement the developed tool set according to the Clearing House Mechanism concept (CHM)
  5. Demonstrate the functionality of the tool set 
  6. Conduct participatory stakeholder engagement
4cmr logo large and transparent

4CMR has finished its cycle, and has been replaced by the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG). C-EENRG is also located in the Department of Land Economy, with a core mission to "conduct integrative research on the governance of environmental transitions, understood as social and technological processes driven by environmental constraints that lead to fundamental changes in social organisation."

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