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Climate Impacts in Europe. The JRC PESETA II (2014)


The fundamental purpose of the JRC PESETA II project is to gain insights into the sectoral and regional patterns of climate change impacts in Europe that may occur by the end of this century. The assessment concerns both the biophysical and economic impacts of climate change.
Regarding the time horizon, the project covers the climate impacts over the period 2071-2100 (also referred to as 2080s), compared to 1961-1990. The study considers climate impacts in five large EU regions: Northern Europe (Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Denmark), UK & Ireland (UK and Ireland), Central Europe North (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and Poland), Central Europe South (France, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Romania), and Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria). The study analyses a total of ten biophysical impact categories (agriculture, energy, river floods, droughts, forest fires, transport infrastructure, coasts, tourism, habitat suitability of forest tree species and human health) and considers a broad set of climate model simulations (a maximum of fifteen for some impact sectors). Eight of those impacts (agriculture, energy, river floods, forest fires, transport infrastructure, coasts, tourism and human health) are integrated into an economic model to assess the impact on the overall economy and welfare at regional and EU level. However, even if the coverage of impacts is relatively broad, it should be stressed that the study underestimates the climate damages in Europe because of a number of reasons. Firstly, the coverage of the effects due to climate extremes is limited in the sectoral models used in the project. Secondly, key impacts without market prices, such as losses of ecosystem services or damages to biodiversity, are not considered. Thirdly, abrupt climate change or the effects of passing climate tipping points are not integrated in the analysis. Finally, the study does not consider how Europe would be affected indirectly through the impacts of climate change in the rest of the world. Therefore the project cannot fully capture the overall scale of the risks due to climate change in Europe in a long-term context. Moreover, for these reasons the difference between the Reference and the 2°C simulations should not be interpreted as the benefits of mitigation policy.


Reference information

PESETA II project


biophysical impact, bottom-up models, climate simulation, economic impact, general equilibrium model, impact models, impacts evaluation, underestimation of impact

Climate impacts



Geographic characterisation


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