Executive Project Summary

A new project funded by the European Union will develop tools to help European regions adapt to a new climate and avoiding the costly consequences of climate change.

The tool supported policy development for regional adaptation (ToPDAd) is a € 4.5 million research project funded by the European Commission. The objective is to find the best strategies for businesses and regional governments to adapt to the expected short term and long term changes in climate.

TopDad aims to provide a toolset by which regional, national and EU-level climate change adaptation strategies and policies can be evaluated more comprehensively than before. The project outcome is a tool set which connects updated knowledge about impacts and adaptation of climate change with the relevant information for policy making, and thus supporting decision making for adaptation strategies. The focus of the project is on the infrastructure sectors energy and transport, as well as tourism as an example of a potentially climate sensitive important service sector.

Climate change impacts are already being felt across Europe, and in many instances national and regional policy-makers have identified the need to adapt to these changes. Shorter skiing seasons in the Alps and associated drop in revenues have been offset by increased summer tourism, while tourism is likely to suffer from increasing temperatures in the Mediterranean. Extreme events that in particular will affect road transport are floods in central and northern Europe. Inland waterway transport may also come under strain from droughts as river water levels decrease and full transport capacity cannot be utilized. In large, infrastructures for transport and energy will be affected with specific threats to densely populated urban areas.

The project outcome is a tool set to support decision making at management level. ToPDAd will deliver state-of-the-art socioeconomic methods and tools for an integrated assessment. The fundamental driver for regional adaptation is regional climate scenarios. ToPDAd will give policy and decision makers in European regions the tools necessary to make informed decisions on how to adapt to climate change, avoiding maladaptation.


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Logos of the participants of ToPDAd
Participants of ToPDAd: Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT, The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, CICERO Senter Klimaforskning Stiftelse, Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek, Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftlich Strukturforschung MBH, University of East Anglia, Transport & Mobility Lueven NV, Ilmatieteen Laitos, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft MBH
7th Framework Programme (FP7)