EU-MACS: Matching Climate Services Supply with Demand
EUropean MArket for Climate Services – a European project on which ENoLL has been working on from November 2016 until October 2018 focused on an emerging but highly relevant topic of climate services. The project took off with an ambitious aim to identify constraints and enablers in the climate services market. It analysed market structures, drivers, obstacles and opportunities from scientific, legal, technical, ethical, socioeconomic and governance point of view. In this article we look back at EU-MACS’ highlights and outputs relevant for Living Labs.
What are climate services?
This term describes the transformation of climate-related data (obtained by climate scientists), to customised products which can better equip decision makers in climate-sensitive sectors and help them make an informed decision that will benefit the society. Customised products include:
- Economic analysis
- Counselling on best practices
- Development and evaluation of solutions
Simply put, climate services provide climate information to help individuals and organisations make smart decisions and to help society adapt to climate variability and change.
There are numerous areas of life that are affected by climate and its changes, but for the purposes of this project climate services were examined only for three fields: Tourism, Urban planning & Finance
For instance, when receiving customised products,
- The tourism sector can plan and prepare for high- and low- seasons related to weather events, such as snowfall at ski resorts, for example
- The urban planning sector can plan and build more weather- and climate-resilient cities
- The finance sector can better prepare for climate-related risks and possibly, opportunities
ENoLL focused on the Urban Planning sector. Two significant outputs were produced which help identify the type of services and processes that should be provided for the planning of urban environments:
1. A Policy Brief on “Potential for climate services market enhancement and related innovation for urban planning”
2. Guidelines for developing & implementing Living Labs for Climate Services in urban planning
Potential for climate services market enhancement and related innovation for urban planning: Conclusions & Recommendations
- The key solution to overcome the barriers in climate service use is to co-design climate services together with end users.
- This should be supported by rigorous social network analysis and information needs elicitation to better understand information flows and needs at the user side.
- Co-designed climate services could account for the existing limits in the organization (e.g. municipality) information sharing process and could be adapted to the local institutional framework for urban planning.
- The experiments carried out in EU MACS demonstrated that a collaborative design, acquisition and use of climate services, involving institutional actors, citizens and private actors, is feasible and can resolve broad scoped information need.
- Most of the detected barriers to climate services use relate to adaptation policy making: Mitigation (i.e.reduction) is prioritised over adaptation;
- Short term policy cycles reduce the willingness to implement long term adaptation measures; the lack of tools for assessing the effectiveness of adaptation measures affects public awareness about the role of adaptation measures in reducing climate related risks.
Guidelines for developing & implementing Living Labs for Climate Services in urban planning
The set of guidelines developed throughout the EU-MACS project focus specifically on the context of the project and elements that were highlighted as important recommendations for the project stakeholders, rather than aiming to provide a comprehensive list. The five themes highlighted in these guidelines are:
- Quadruple helix stakeholder engagement:
- Placing the citizens at the centre of innovation
- Enhancing cross-disciplinary collaboration & communication
- Prototype & test
- Adapting to change