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Climate change effects on land use and ecosystems: Socio-economic scenarios for the EU15

The scenario adopted for the EU simulation are the “SRES scenarios” recently developed by the IPCC with the aim of representing the range of possible driving forces and emissions in different world development paths.

In ACCELERATES research project the four marker scenarios of the IPCC were selected:
- A1: World Market (WM),

- A2: Regional Enterprise (RE),

- B1: Global Sustainability (GS) and

- B2: Local Stewardship (LS).

Each scenario is identified and described by narrative storylines, representing the framework within which modelling teams, applying different models have developed the scenarios. Each storyline represents different plausible demographic, social, economic, technological, and environmental developments, within which the various scenarios represent specific quantitative interpretations.

EU Global Driving Forces:
The documentation produced by the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC is the main reference for building a matrix, with variables describing the GDF’s, which are determinants of socio-economic developments in the various sectors, including agriculture.

This matrix summarises the state of those drivers in the four selected scenarios, as estimated comparing the present situation with the one referred to year 2020. The evaluations assumed that the policies, interventions and events, which characterise the four SRES scenarios, were effectively implemented.

Having the general framework of Global Driving Forces at the global level, it is possible to focus on those drivers that are more significant for the agricultural sectors. This process consists in zooming those forces, which are considered to be the main drivers for the future developments of agricultural productions both in economic and technical terms, at a regional scale.

The following driving forces were selected as the main drivers of future developments of the EU agriculture:
- The evolution of EU Agricultural Policy (market and rural development);

- The impact of environmental policy measures un agricultural technologies;

- The enlargement of the EU to Central-Eastern European Countries (CEECs);

- The competition with other sectors over the use of production resources;

- The perspectives of the world market (supply/demand);

- The World Trade Organisation Agreements (WTO GATT).

The last step of the application of the methodology to EU consists in the compilation of the third level matrices aimed at estimating the variation in agricultural model parameters, which will drive land use change modelling at a local scale. Initially, a matrix reporting the 2020 situation in the four basic scenarios has been compiled.

This matrix contains 38 variables representing the situation of the following parameters:
- Prices of the most important production factors utilised by farmers;

- Prices of the agricultural commodities;

- Subsidies;

- Yields;

- Natural resources available for agricultural production;

- Efficiency in natural resources agricultural use;

- Chemicals input restrictions.

Then, the 2020 parameters have been extrapolated to 2050 and 2080. So, a thorough and internally consistent set of parameters has been designed for simulating the land use pattern over time in the four different scenarios. This data may be used in other research or analysis was a general framework on future socio-economic situation is needed.

More information on the QUILT project can be found at:

Informazioni correlate

Reported by

University of Trieste
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Piazzale Europa 1
34127 Trieste
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