CLIMSAVE aimed to assess the climate policy of European countries.


There is widespread acceptance that the climate is changing due to human emissions of greenhouse gases. Such changes in climate will affect all sectors of society and the environment at all scales, ranging from the continental to the national and local.

Decision-makers and other interested citizens need to be able to access reliable science-based information to help them respond to the risks of climate change impacts and assess opportunities for adaptation.

What was it?

CLIMSAVE (Climate Change Integrated Assessment Methodology for Cross-Sectoral Adaptation and Vulnerability in Europe) was a pan-European project that developed a user-friendly, interactive web-based tool that allowed stakeholders to assess climate change impacts and vulnerabilities for a range of sectors, including agriculture, forests, biodiversity, coasts, water resources, and urban development.

The linking of models for the different sectors enabled stakeholders to see how their interactions could affect European landscape change. The tool also enabled stakeholders to explore adaptation strategies for reducing climate change vulnerability, discovering where, when and under what circumstances such actions may help. It highlighted the cost-effectiveness and cross-sectoral benefits and conflicts of different adaptation options, and enabled uncertainties to be investigated to better inform the development of robust policy responses.

The project included the following elements:

  • Analyzing the policy and governance context for adaptation,
  • Developing an integrated assessment platform which includes linkages and feedbacks between key landscape sectors,
  • Applying the integrated assessment platform to assess climate change impacts on, and adaptation options for, ecosystem services,
  • Integrating stakeholder input into climate change impacts and adaptation research through the development of participatory scenarios,
  • Analyzing the cost-effectiveness of adaptation strategies,
  • Identifying vulnerability hotspots through metrics of impacts and adaptive capacity across sectors, and
  • Investigating sources of uncertainty to inform appropriate policy options.

CLIMSAVE outputs informed many policy processes ensuring that decisions on how best to adapt to climate change were based on solid scientific analysis. This included the EC White Paper on Adapting to Climate Change and national adaptation strategies which have been adopted, or are under preparation, in many European countries.

CLIMSAVE’s integrated assessment approach enabled stakeholders to explore and understand the interactions between different sectors, rather than viewing their own area in isolation. This contributed to the development of a well adapted Europe by building the capacity of decision-makers to understand cross-sectoral vulnerability to climate change and how it might be reduced by various adaptation options.

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