Climate change poses a significant economic, societal and environmental threat to Europe and the rest of the world. Climate services are essential for transforming economies and societies to reduce climate risks, build resilience and unlock innovation in Europe. The EU-funded project CLARA set out to be part of Europe’s efforts to use climate services to better manage natural resources, improve disaster risk management and build better resilience. The initiative employed state-of-the-art seasonal and decadal forecasts and climate projections building on COPERNICUS data (Copernicus Climate Change Service) to demonstrate the benefits and economic value of climate services. “Our primary ambition is to smooth and accelerate deployment of climate forecast-enabled services,” says CLARA project coordinator Jaroslav Mysiak. “We have fostered market uptake by employing insightful market analysis and outreach activities capable of scaling up the diffusion and use of CLARA-enabled climate services.”
Linking climate services to users
“The project workflow has been designed to engage and empower users to co-design and co-develop climate services,” Mysiak explains. The project team tested the added value of 15 climate services in operational environments (from disaster risk reduction, water resource management, agriculture and food security, renewable energy and air quality) and used the knowledge gained to help the forum members and potential end users to improve the services. “With our work we have contributed to advancing the European roadmap on climate services through designed and tested methodologies to explore and assess the value obtained from the climate services. We have also shown ways to address business model innovation and marketability of climate services,” Mysiak adds. The results are shared in a card game. According to Fabio Paglione, end-user from the Burana Land Reclamation and Irrigation Board, Modena, Italy: “The most exciting aspect of my participation in the CLARA activities has been the opportunity to share my experience and knowledge and work together with many specialists from different disciplines. We have managed to tailor the WRI (Water Requirements for Irrigation) service and make it applicable to a range of potential users, not just my organisation. This has been very rewarding.”
Forging new partnerships and collaborations
CLARA has the unique feature of an established structure for co-producing and co-developing processes in a systematic way with the purveyors and users of climate services who interact to consider the technical feasibility and costs associated with them. CLARA organised a multi-user forum also involving representatives from the Copernicus User Forums in Spain, Italy and Sweden. “The multi-user forum has created a marketplace conducive for forging new partnerships and collaborations. For example, our services are being tested and deployed beyond the areas initially envisaged such as assessing the hydropower potential of South America,” Mysiak says.
CLARA, climate services, Copernicus, climate change, climate adaptation, climate risk