Climate Change – Terrestrial Adaptation & Mitigation in Europe 

Global historical emissions from land-use are estimated to exceed those from fossil fuels by some 25 % and are currently considered to be the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Europe, the agricultural sector is the third largest sector of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 9 % of EU-25 emissions. The main idea that led to the CCTAME Project is the vision of implementing a “policy-model-data fusion” concept to guarantee efficient and effective mitigation and adaptation in the land-use sector and to maximize benefits from policy coordination with other EU policies. In 2008, the land use sector was not or poorly represented in European models for climate policy making. The CCTAME project was designed to fill this gap.

The CCTAME project assessed the impacts of agriculture, climate, energy, forestry and other associated land-use policies, considering the resulting feed-backs on the climate system in the European Union. Geographically explicit biophysical models together with an integrated cluster of economic land-use models were coupled with a regional climate model to assess and identify mitigation and adaptation strategies in European agriculture and forestry.

CCTAME's specific objectives were:

  • to build a strong science-policy interface by delivering timely, relevant and understandable information from state-of-the-art policy impact assessments to the policy community. The scientific-technical objective was to carry out an assessment of the efficiency of current and future land use adaptation and mitigation processes.
  • to model explicit land use on farm/forest management practice level taking into account the emerging technological changes in the land-use sector and its associated industries. Regional climate models were coupled with biophysical ecosystem models, which generated a vast variety of production possibility sets for each geographic unit. State of the art economic models, which are embedded in the theory of modern welfare economics, used the sets of geographic explicit biophysical production possibilities to generate globally consistent local mitigation and adaptation land use strategies.


Integration of multiple policy processes

CCTAME has created an integrated model cluster, which was used for land use related mitigation policy making in the frame of UNFCCC Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) policy making by all EU member states. The overall strategy of CCTAME was tailored towards aligning and further developing existing decision support tools in the land-use sector to respond to demands from the climate policy process in Europe and under the UNFCCC. CCTAME tools were informed by policy makers interested in implementing changes in land-use practices for the post-Kyoto negotiations in Europe and the UNFCCC climate policy regimes. Policies analysed included those aimed at enhancing or preserving carbon stocks (national implementation of incentives provided by the Kyoto Protocol, for example enhancing the use of bioenergy (Renewable Electricity Directive, and others), as well as policies aimed at reducing non-CO2 GHG emissions (CH4, N20) from agriculture. Bottom-up type models as suggested under CCTAME have proven to provide excellent quantitative platforms to foster policy coordination across different, but linked policy “sectors”. The main coordination function of the CC-TAME model cluster has been the generation of research tools and methodologies for the assessment and evaluation of impacts of alternative policies and estimating their associated costs and benefits of the policies.

Model Integration by geographic and technologically explicit bottom-up approach

Through the geographically and technologically explicit bottom-up approach the CC-TAME project integrated  the regional climate model REMO (WP3000) with biophysical models of ecosystem management (WP 4000) and fullfledged regional and national economic sector models (WP 5000). This multifaceted approach bridges geographic and temporal scales and integrates all major land-use sectors. The methodological approach combined explicit crop/trees growth models operating on the plot scale that have sufficient, sub-national spatial detail to estimate the responses and adaptation possibilities of crops and trees. The approach  allowed for consistent linkage to continental scale, which guarantees robustness and consistency in the assessment of sustainable and cost-effective GHG mitigating and adaptive management strategies and policies. CC-TAME employed a multitude of models on different scales, which allow for model comparisons and thus model uncertainties were assessed in a systematic manner. Reliable and trustworthy data and assessment tools have been built by using large resources.

Integrated Policy Scenario Assessment

The data (WP2000) and analysis tools (WP3000, WP4000, and WP5000) of CCTAME were employed in WP6000 to assessed a wide range of environmental, agricultural, forest, and energy policy scenarios. Particular policies which have been analysed include those aimed at enhancing or preserving carbon stocks as well as policies aimed at reducing non-CO2 GHG emissions (CH4, N20) from agriculture. Biodiversity enhancement and soil improvement/preservation also form important policy objectives, which were tackled by CCTAME research.

Policies were assessed individually and jointly following a strict model linkage protocol, which was developed in CC-TAME and used for additional policy impact studies. Heterogeneous qualities, multiple uses and physical limits are the reasons for complex impacts of land use policies. The integration and link between (a) site specific, biophysical modelling, (b) micro-economic farm level modelling, and (c) multi-sector, macro-economic modelling allowed to embody both heterogeneous natural conditions and market adjustments in a globalizing world through GLOBIOM with internationally connected agricultural, forest products and energy markets.

The main result was the preparation of an operational and consistent methodology to carry out policy assessments for the LULUCF sector, which are compliant with the reporting requirements under the UNFCCC. 

Apart from the mitigation work in CC-TAME the project implemented regional climate scenarios and carried out a fully fledged mitigation and adaptation analysis with the focus on the co-benefits of mitigation and adaptation. CCTAME singled out vulnerability hotspots in terms of geography and ecosystem type under the various climate change scenarios. The CCTAME model cluster was employed to assess a wide range of environmental, agricultural, forest, and energy policy scenarios. One of the results was that policies that aimed at enhancing or preserving carbon stocks as well as policies aimed at reducing non-CO2 GHG emissions from agriculture also scored high with respect to ecosystem adaptation to climate change.

The tools and data produced in the project were used to provide reference level information for reporting under the UNFCCC. Among others CCTAME scenarios contributed to the IPCC AR5 assessments with land use scenarios.

Apart from the European scale assessment CCTAME developed tools to assess efficiencies of mitigation and adaptation processes on farm/forest management practice level as well as on the sectoral level taking into account emerging technological changes in the land-use sector and its associated up-stream industries. These tools hold the potential to be used by a wider community of users. Analysis on extreme events using stochastic farm models, based on cutting edge methodologies were developed.

The project identified  adaptation induced by policies, in particular by the Common Agricultural Policy, Rural development Strategy, EU Forestry Strategy and Forest Action Plan, and in general EU policies on climate change”.

The AROPAj, CAPRI and FASOM models have a long history to provide policy advice to DG AGRI on issues concerting the CAP, Rural Development Strategy and climate policies. Supported by CCTAME research these models have been used to provide policy impact assessments for DGENV/CLIMA. The results of CC-TAME research covering the tools GLOBIOM, EU-FASOM, CAPRI, AROPAj and GFM have supported the UNFCCC process.

The CCTAME consortium was strongly linked to the DG ENV sponsored “European Consortium for Modelling of Air Pollution and Climate Strategies” (EC4MACS) which provided linkage to other sectors (energy (PRIMES, POLES models), air pollution (RAINS/GAINS model) and the Macro-economy through the GEM-E3 model). CCTAME models (FASOM, CAPRI, BEWHERE, GFM, EPIC, DNDC) have been provided as state of the art models for decision making on mitigation and adaptation within the EU level involvement in the UNFCCC negotiations.

University of Aberdeen (UNIABDN) UK
University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU) AT
Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) ES
Middlesex University, Flood Hazard Research Centre (MU) UK
Comenius University, Bratislava (UNIBA) SK
European Centre for Agricultural, Regional and Environmental Policy Research (EuroCARE) DE
University of Hamburg (UHAM) DE
French Institute for Research in Agronomy (INRA) FR
Joanneum Research (JR) AT
Joint Research Center Ispra (JRC)  IT
Centre for Energy Policy and Technology, Imperial College London UK
The Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA) FI
Max-Planck-Institut fur Meteorologie, Arbeitsgruppe Regionalmodellierung (MPI) DE
Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute (SSCRI) SK
Centre for Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development (RISO) DK
National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) Associate Partner Japan
Tallinn University of Technology, Department of Chemistry (TUT) Associate Partner EE



Collaborative Projects (Small or Medium-Scale Focused Research Projects) funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme Theme 6 (Environment).

Start date



36 months

Project Coordinator

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Contact Point

Michael Obersteiner and Florian Kraxner

IIASA, Ecosystems Services and Management Program

Schlossplatz 1. A-2361 Laxenburg. Austria

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Project website

Last update:16 Sep 2016

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