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DownScaling CLImate imPACTs and decarbonisation pathways in EU islands, and enhancing socioeconomic and non-market evaluation of Climate Change for Europe, for 2050 and beyond.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SOCLIMPACT (DownScaling CLImate imPACTs and decarbonisation pathways in EU islands, and enhancing socioeconomic and non-market evaluation of Climate Change for Europe, for 2050 and beyond.)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-05-31

European islands support unique ecosystems which are home to around one-third of the globally threatened species. Islands also play a substantial role in the European economy, acting as hubs for most Blue Economy sectors. However, current climate risk assessments for Europe do not allow deriving valid statements for islands, limiting the successful implementation of efforts addressing decarbonization strategies and Climate Change Adaptation in Europe.
SOCLIMPACT aims at developing an innovative interdisciplinary methodology to deal with the economic impact of Climate Change on the Blue Economy sectors of European islands. It combines a methodological challenge renewing the approach to climate risks assessment through the interdisciplinary concept of impact chain, willing to improve knowledge of under investigated regions and sectors. The conceptualization of ICs is needed to obtain scientific consistency across the modelling phases of the project and to define the climate and economic datasets needed. In addition, the operationalization of ICs serves to obtain risk scores at insular scale and to compare islands and sectors.
On the way, SOCLIMPACT will:
-improve existing climate impact models for Europe by proposing coupled ocean-atmosphere RCM climate runs, consistent with RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 scenarios;
-propose and run high resolution nested simulations over the areas of interest, ranging from sea-level rise to changes in ocean temperature and salinity, wind, biodiversity;
-nourish the modelling of socioeconomic consequences of CC, by conducting market and non-market valuation assessment and integrating it into macroeconomic and general equilibrium models;
-provide society and decision makers with useful tools to better understand the environmental and socioeconomic consequences of CC in the Blue Economy of the EU islands, and to undertake efficient and proactive climate-related policies for Blue Growth, by ranking and mapping the more appropriate and viable mitigation, adaptation and risk management strategies.
These outcomes are essential for the main goal of the project, which is feeding the participatory design of well-informed and effective mitigation and adaptation pathways in 12 EU islands.
The achievements of these 18 months could be summarized in the definition of the common ground, framework and main concepts; a substantial definition and collection of climate and economic datasets needed, and of the modelling process to measure economic impacts of CC; and the involvement of stakeholders to feed local adaptation and decarbonization policies.
The main results obtained in WP3 are:
-Definition of a common ground of understanding about ICs.
-Development of theoretical ICs, and their application to sectors/islands of interest.
-Overview of ICs operationalization by defining a set of indicators, useful for data collection and provision of practical information to stakeholders.
-Search of available data for the modelling chain and to calculate risk scores for islands comparison.
WP4 has focused on the compilation of available data resources for different climate variables needed, and on the definition of hazard indicators that can be derived. Results produced:
-Compilation of climate variables and indicators, focusing on coupled ocean-atmosphere regional climate modelling and non-conventional impacts.
-New simulations using the WaveWatchIII model, for three Atlantic domains (Antilles, Canaries, Azores, Madeira), that contribute to the high-resolution wave and sea level climatology atlas needed to assess the coastal impacts of CC.
WP5 focuses on the analysis and quantification of market and non-market impacts of CC on environmental services that support the economic activities of islands, affecting their whole economy through the interdependence of sectors. Results obtained so far:
-Meta-analytic review of previous researches that estimate market and non-market impacts of CC and related policies, as well as economic values transferrable to CGE models.
-Definition of surveying methodology, obtained from focus groups and pre-testing fieldwork in some EU islands; and boundaries of methodology for data mining.
WP6 aims to provide consistent macroeconomic assessment of relevant CC impacts to the islands, which is parametrized in an integrated methodological framework (GINFORS and GEM-E3 models). Main result obtained by WP6:
-Development of island-specific economic databases that improve regionalization and geographical coverage to develop island-specific macro CGE models.
WP7 has worked on a preliminary guide for IFPs to define the boundaries, the scope and the methodologic approach that will be used in subsequent tasks. Main result obtained:
-Involvement of stakeholders to feed local adaptation policies, through a framework of adaptation pathways, accounting for future climate and state of society and economy.
Finally, a project of this magnitude with 23 partners from 8 countries, seldom involved in H2020 projects, required a readjustment in the initial governance to realize the previous results. New entities have been set up, formalized in the 2nd Amendment to the GA: Sectoral Modelling teams and Task Force are now working in collaboration to IFPs and WP leaders, to warrant the appropriate quality of deliverables and their sectorial and island scope. The project now has a flexible governance, which allows to mitigate potential risks and difficulties.
To date, the scientific contribution of SOCLIMPACT in the field of climate hazard and CC impact modelling covers:
-progress in the concept of ICs (following AR5 definition of risk) and adaptation to new geographical contexts and sectoral scopes.
-validation and operationalization of ICs with a mix of indicators aggregation, normalization and modelling, proving their efficiency as a quantitative operational tool.
- delivery of CC related information in a harmonized way across EU islands that are characterized by different climate conditions and impacts, by generating high-resolution data and modelling non-conventional impacts (waves database).
In the field of socioeconomic analysis of CC, the project contributes to provide accurate and downscaled economic valuation of climate-induced impacts and risks in Europe. First, it focuses on the analysis of social behavior, how it is affected when CC impacts and risks occur and when adaptation policies are implemented. Second, SOCLIMPACT integrates these findings into the study of the socioeconomic consequences of CC on a variety of insular economies. It should be remarked the granularity of the analysis and the advanced data and modelling work developed on an island-specific manner. Third, it contributes to build up a common framework for the design of tailored adaptation pathways for islands.
The project has a clear societal benefit as it implements a bottom-up approach in each of its research phases. Sectoral ICs are validated with sector experts and policy makers, finding coherence with each island economic and environmental context. The data collection process is enriched through the participation of key islands regional institutions. Finally, the participatory methodology is employed to support the design of new regional adaptation polices.