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COACCH: CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange costs

Improve the description of climate change impacts and policies across different climate change and social economic development scenarios taking into account impacts interaction and complex impact chain; gradual changes and tipping points in the climate and social-economic system; bridging the gap between micro and macro-economic assessments improving the spatial detail of the impact and policy insights.

The final objective of COACCH is to produce an improved downscaled assessment of the risks and costs of climate change in Europe that can be accessed directly for the different needs of end users from the research, business, investment, and the policy making community. This objective is pursued by working with end users and developing an innovative science-practice and integrated approach of co-design of knowledge and co-delivery of outcomes with stakeholders.

This overall objective breaks down into five specific goals:

  • developing technically excellent and innovative research on complex climate change impact chains by using downscaled climate information and advancing integrated assessment methods and models developed under early RTD (research and innovation) research calls;
  • developing a challenge-driven and solutions-orientated research and innovation approach involving stakeholders in the co-design, co-production and co-dissemination of policy driven research;
  • significantly advancing the knowledge and evidence base not only on climate tipping elements and tipping points but also on socio-economic tipping points;
  • advancing the economic valuation of climate action (mitigation and adaptation) in the EU at various scales (spatial grids, regions, countries and economic sectors) over short to longer-term timeframes to support a better-informed policy process in the achievement of intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) for the EU;
  • enhancing innovation capacity and integration of this new knowledge by using co-dissemination of results with business, industrial, public decision makers and research communities for maximising the use of innovative approaches in communication for dissemination, including direct elicitation of end-user needs to shape knowledge outreach and uptake.

Stakeholder engagement is highly relevant to climate change risk assessment and decision-making: the European Union, in its Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, highlighted the need for co-creation of knowledge and co-delivery of outcomes with economic, industrial and research actors, public authorities and/or civil society. In response, the COACCH project has included co-design, co-production and co-dissemination as key principles for the development and delivery of research. This is reflected in the project title, “CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange costs”, and methodology. This approach involves a major change from previous European economic cost studies on climate change, which have been science led, and have used stakeholder engagement only to communicate results.

Co-design (cooperative design) is at the heart of COACCH. It consists of the participatory design of the research project with stakeholders (including users of the research). Co-design is the first phase of the co-production process, in which researchers and non-academic partners jointly develop the research project and define research questions that meet their collective interests and needs.

Co-production (cooperative production) is the participatory development and implementation of the COACCH research project with stakeholders. This uses practice-orientated research, co-producing the research and case studies through an iterative process that helps to translate the research into useful and useable information or knowledge.

Co-delivery / Co-dissemination (cooperative delivery) is the participatory design and implementation of strategies for appropriate use of research, including the joint delivery of research outputs and exploitation of results.

This inclusive approach characterizes the entire project, from defining research questions and policy scenarios to the impact and outreach activities. Stakeholders are involved with an innovative science-practice methodology using four thematic working group meetings: i) policy makers, ii) investors, iii) business and industry, and iv) research and civil society. This is complemented with bi-lateral follow-up meetings with deep engagement stakeholders, and online surveys. This ensures that research focuses on the interests and needs of users, addressing relevant cross-sectoral perspectives to provide meaningful information for the public and private sectors.

The interaction of extended research-stakeholders’s interaction will foster and demonstrate a new research practice that moves COACCH beyond a purely academic study into a fully co-designed and co-delivered high-level scientific assessment of climate risks and costs for Europe.

A new challenge–driven, solution-oriented and transparent, advanced knowledge on climate change impacts and policy directly usable by the policy making, research, business and investment communities. In particular: climate change “risks” in the EU will be characterized in their environmental and socio-economic consequences with a sub national resolution; climatic and social economic tipping points affecting the EU will be described in terms of probability of occurrence and consequences; finally a new set of policy prescriptions robust to uncertainty will be identified.

Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneo Sui Cambiamenti Climatici (FONDAZIONE CMCC) (coordinator) Italy
Paul Watkiss Associates Ltd (PWA) Unit Kingdom
Internationales Institut Fuer Angewandte Systemanalyse (IIASA) Austria
Universitaet Graz (UNI GRAZ), Austria Austria
Stichting Vu (STICHTING VU) Netherlands
Ecologic Institut gemeinnützige GmbH (ECOLOGIC) Germany
Univerzita Karlova (CUNI) Czech Republic
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) Italy
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) Netherlands
Basque Centre for Climate Change - Klima Aldaketa Ikergai (BC3) Spain
Climate Analytics gemeinnützige GmbH (CA) Germany
Stichting Deltares (DELTARES) Netherlands
Global Climate Forum EV (GCF) Germany
Potsdam Institut fuer Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) Germany