Presentation at the ‘Transition Management and Regional Governance’ Workshop

What role can Transition Management play in regional governance processes to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) navigate through the demographic transition?

At the expert workshop on ‘Transition Management and Regional Governance’ that was hosted by the TransDemo project on June 25-26, 2015 at the University of Osnabrück, Katharina Hölscher presented the Transition Management process methodology and its implementation in the MUSIC project and how it will be advanced for IMPRESSIONS. The operational guidelines, insights and lessons learnt have been discussed in the course for the workshop to discern how Transition Management can support SMEs to address the challenges of the demographic transitions in the long-term. 

Click on the image below to see the presentation:

Download the presentation here.

Top British institutions bring attention on the importance of climate change mitigation

An unprecedented coalition of the UK’s most eminent scientific, medical and engineering bodies says immediate action must be taken by governments to avert the worst impacts of climate change. A joint letter by 24 scientific, medical and engineering bodies say mitigation will also bring economic and health benefits. 

But the joint communiqué, issued by 24 academic and professional institutions, also says that tackling global warming would drive economic progress, benefit the health of millions by cutting air pollution and improve access to energy, water and food. To have a reasonable chance of keeping warming below 2C, the internationally agreed danger limit, the world must end all emissions within the next few decades, the communiqué warns.

Story source The Guardian. Read more here.

IMPRESSIONS at "Our Common Futures Under Climate Change"

This week, from 7-10 July, the International Scientific Conference "Our Common Futures Under Climate Change" took place in Paris, France. This four-day Conference is the largest forum for the scientific community to come together ahead of the COP21 of the UNFCCC in 2015 .It addresses key issues concerning climate change in the broader context of global change.

IMPRESSIONS co-organised a session entitled "A world above 2°C global warming: understanding risks and developing transformative solutions" which was attended by more than 70 people. The session discussed limitations to conventional climate assessment approaches and the new approaches integrating science and policy for transforming global climate governance.

Click on the image below to see the presentation from the session:

Download presentation here.

IMPRESSIONS was also presented at the meeting via a specially designed poster "Orchestrating Adaptation, Mitigation and Transformation" created and presented by project partners Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT), the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands . The poster looks at  how agents shape the capacities for integrated climate governance that links mitigation, adaptation and transformation goals and actions towards promoting resilience and sustainability. 

Click on the image below to see the poster:


Seizing the Global Opportunity: A Report by the the New Climate Economy

The New Climate Economy project published its 2015 report Seizing the Global Opportunity, providing 10 practical reccomendation that will boost economic growth and reduce climate risks.

More about the report here:

The New Climate Economy explores how countries at all levels of income can have better economic growth and a better climate. Explore the new 2015 report for greater insight into how partnerships can help seize the global opportunity of a low-carbon future.

IMPRESSIONS Steering Committee & 1st Iberian Case Study Workshop

The end of June was an eventful time for the IMPRESSIONS project when we hosted two important meetings: (i) a stakeholder workshop for our Iberian case study; and (ii) our 4th project steering committee meeting combined with our international advisory board.

The first IMPRESSIONS Iberia stakeholder workshop took place from 24 to 26 June, in Lisbon, Portugal. Stakeholders from Portugal and Spain from public institutions, civil society and companies gathered to discuss the future of Iberia and the Tagus river basin in the 21st century.

Participants at the Iberia Stakeholder Workshop; Credit: K. Zellmer

During the intensive and interactive 3-day workshop, stakeholders discussed and determined key uncertainties for the region, such as the extent of political foresight, interactions between difference governance levels and whether future development was balanced or unbalanced in terms of economics, environment and society. The uncertainties were then combined with existing socio-economic storylines (the Shared Socio-economic Pathways; SSPs) developed at the global and European scale, to elaborate a set of SSP-related socio-economic scenarios for the Iberian region.  At the end of the workshop, the the effects of high-end climate change on these scenarios was explored.

Discussions at the Iberia Stakeholder Workshop; Credit: S. Haenen

In between all these activities, a case study field trip to Lezírias was organized, where in addition, stakeholders experienced a climate theatre performance, illustrating the dynamic bond between climate and humans, in a world beyond 2˚C warming. 

To learn more about the Iberian case study, as well as other case studies from IMPRESSIONS and its sister projects RISES-AM and HELIX, visit the interactive map on our common website.

Images from the Project Steering Committee meeting. Credit: Pavel Stoev

The workshop was preceded by an IMPRESSIONS Steering Committee and Advisory Board meeting which took place on 22 & 23 June 2015 in Lisbon.  The meeting brought together key project players with international experts to discuss the future directions of project development in important research areas including:

  • Stakeholder engagement within the case studies
  • Innovative and effective decision-making under uncertainty
  • Development of multi-scale integrated scenarios
  • Advancement of climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability methods and models
  • Development of adaptation and mitigation pathways
  • Integrated and transformative solutions to high-end climate change
  • Project dissemination and communication activities


EEA Signals 2015 - Living in a changing climate

The European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes Signals annually, providing a snapshot of issues of interest to the environmental debate and the wider public. Signals 2015 - Living in a changing climate focuses on climate change.

Signals 2015 consists of nine articles, including two interviews. It explains how climate change is currently impacting Europe and how it is expected to impact in the future. Signals also provides information on the main sectors contributing to climate change as well as the EU’s efforts to adapt and mitigate, while taking closer look at investments, soil, oceans and food production in the context of climate change.

To read more and see all articles, please visit the dedicated EEA webpage.

The Bond You Hold: A new theatre performance embodying the dynamic relation between climate and humans

"The Bond You Hold" is a innovative theatre performance embodying the dynamic relation between climate and humans, in a world beyond 2oC warming.

Climate change is an environmental, cultural and political phenomenon propelling transformations on ways of thinking about ourselves, our relations to the biosphere and our common futures. We need novel imagery and embodied experiences to find new ways of thinking and acting in relation to climate change.

High-end climate scenarios (futures where we trespass the 2oC warming threshold) are increasingly more likely. But how would that world look like? Arts have an important role to play in creating spaces and experiences that support this exploration.

"The Bond You Hold" is a compound process that integrates cutting-edge climate change knowledge through a knitted series of collaborations with an international group of climate and social scientists  within EU-funded project Impressions leading to the development of this multi-sensorial physical theatre performance.

Impressions workshops will advance understanding of the implications of high-end climate change and to help decision-makers apply such knowledge within integrated adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Scientific content for the performance is provided by Impressions researchers  David Tàbara and Kasper Kok.


EURO4M: New analysis aids planning for climate change

A detailed picture of European weather patterns over the past decades is now emerging thanks to an EU-funded project to re-analyse historical records. The results will help governments plan for climate change by better understanding past trends and extreme events.

Anyone with a smartphone can instantly view weather forecasts for the whole of Europe, but looking for historical data is another matter.

"There is no coordinating organisation at EU level for meteorological data from the past," says Albert Klein Tank of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Weather systems do not respect national boundaries yet until now researchers had to dig out records held by agencies in each country.

The recently finished EU-funded EURO4M project, which Klein Tank led, has remedied that by collecting, combining and consolidating weather records from all 28 EU countries and making them available to anyone in readily usable forms. EURO4M builds on an extensive earlier project called ENSEMBLES that created advanced computer models for predicting climate change.

"What is really new in the project is that we now use more detailed weather models to integrate all these different observations and get an even more complete picture," says Klein Tank.

Read more here.

European Environmental Agency (EEA) Annual Report 2014

The European Environmental Agency (EEA) has published its Annual Report describing the work carried out by the EEA in 2014. The EEA annual report includes the EMAS environmental statement 2014.

The EEA aims to support sustainable development and to help achieve significant and measurable improvement in Europe's environment through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policymaking agents and the public.

Download teh report here.

International conference to hail Glasgow as leading city-region on climate change adaptation

Glasgow has won a bid to host the 3rd European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA) in 2017, it was announced today (Tuesday 28 April 2015).

This is a leading climate change conference and will attract around a 1000 delegates from the UK, Europe and around the world.

It will mark the first time that the conference has been held in the UK since its inauguration, with previous host cities including Hamburg in Germany and Copenhagen in Denmark.

The 2017 conference is being led by three EU-funded projects: IMPRESSIONS, HELIX and RISES-AM.

Dr. Paula Harrison, Coordinator of the IMPRESSIONS project based at the University of Oxford, said: "Climate change presents a wide range of impacts and risks for the European economy, society and environment. We need robust strategies and solutions to adapt."

"The conference provides the leading forum for sharing amongst science, policy, practice and business communities. We look forward to working with the experienced local team to deliver a conference in Glasgow that inspires real action to adapt to climate change."

Climate resilience is at the core of decisions shaping investment in the city and transforming communities. It is this pioneering work that has won Glasgow the conference.

The bid for the ECCA 2017 conference was put together by a committee from research, policy and practice and was supported by 46 organisations across Scotland and the UK.

Cllr. Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Chair of Sustainable Glasgow, said: "We are delighted that the European Climate Change Adaptation Conference will take place in Glasgow in 2017. Glasgow has strong ambitions for a greener future and a European leader in environmental sustainability."

"Sustainable Glasgow is the cross-sector partnership to take on this challenge. We aim to use the tremendous opportunities now available to us to become a resilient city that adapts to the challenges of climate change."

Cllr Matheson added: "Today, three out of four Europeans live in a city – most of the world’s problems are centred on cities but all of the solutions will come from cities."

"Glasgow is a city where solutions can be found to help have a greener future. We look forward to welcoming the delegates to Glasgow in 2017 and we hope it will be a fantastic opportunity to exchange ideas and best practice to help us to adapt to climate change. We are sure that it will be a memorable conference within our vibrant, friendly and welcoming city and its citizens."

Dr. Aileen McLeod MSP, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said "I am delighted that Glasgow will host the 2017 European Climate Change Adaptation Conference and believe the aims of the conference fit well with the Scottish Government’s objectives on adaptation. Adaptation to the effects of climate change is a global challenge and we must work together to focus our collective efforts and expertise across Europe to counter the impacts of our changing climate."

Terry A’Hearn, SEPA Chief Executive, said "At SEPA we are determined to help people unlock the economic and social opportunities of mitigating, and adapting to climate change. I am delighted that this conference is coming to Scotland, it will help raise the profile of climate change and inform the co-ordinated action needed to address this critical challenge."

Ruth Wolstenholme, Managing Director of Sniffer, said: "Scotland has built very strong partnerships across research, policy and practice on climate adaptation and resilience. Many countries want to learn from the pioneering work of Scotland’s ClimateXChange research network and Adaptation Scotland support service. Hosting this conference provides recognition and a showcase of our successes."

Dr. Marc Metzger, The University of Edinburgh, said "Scotland is at the forefront of international research on climate change adaptation, a reputation that has brought the world-leading ECCA 2017 to Glasgow. The conference will gather more than a thousand colleagues from around the world to Scotland, an unprecedented opportunity for us to share and learn from each other as we respond to climate change."

People are at the heart of Glasgow’s transformation, and the organisers hope the conference will be an opportunity for both the international experts and the general public to see how the city is living up to its ambitions - ‘from steam to green’.

A range of ground-breaking initiatives have shown Scotland as an example on partnerships for future-proofing the economy. This will be on display at the conference and through a range of excursions to the local area for the delegates.

As one of Europe’s most dynamic cultural capitals, Glasgow is the ideal host for a conference that will integrate culture and arts, and engage with the far reaching community. The city is also known as an outstanding host for sustainable international events that leave a lasting legacy not only locally but for the whole of Scotland.

HELIX Workshop: The Challenge of Communicating Unwelcome Climate Messages

An international workshop titled ‘The Challenge of Communicating Unwelcome Climate Messages’ took place on 16-17th April in Cambridge, UK. The event was organised by our sister project High-End cLimate Impacts and eXtremes (HELIX).

The chances of climate impacts worsening with average global temperature rise exceeds 2◦C – or even 4◦C - by mid-century, are increasing. With the increased plausibility of such prospect the question of how can these messages best expressed to the public arises. 

The aim of this workshop was to explore how scientists and communicators of science can be more than ‘narrators of doom’, but instead help to stimulate engagement and adaptive responses from policy makers, organisations and publics.

The workshop looked into what are the unwelcome messages from ‘beyond 2◦C’, to whom are they unwelcome, and why.  

Discussions focused on what are the best ways to engaging emotions of the public towards building personal resilience and facilitating positive responses to unwelcome climate change messages. Increasing engagement among policy makers and communicating politically inconvenient scientific findings were also among the highlighted themes of the workshop.

First IMPRESSIONS Central Asia workshop

The first IMPRESSIONS Central Asia workshop took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 16-17 February 2015. The Central Asia case study focuses on the impacts of high-end climate change in the region, comprising Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The workshop gathered many stakeholders from the region and beyond, including the EU and Russia, coming from NGOs, private companies, international organisations and research institutions, with expertise in key field such as energy, agriculture, water and security.

Following a professionally facilitated process, the experts firstly developed storylines for the region, detailing key uncertainties such as policy and governance, water management, migration and economic development. In addition, the impacts of high-end climate change on these storylines were discussed at the end of the workshop.

The next two Central Asia workshops will be held in 2016 and 2017, and will focus on the indirect impacts of high-end climate change in Central Asia on China and Russia, and the EU. These workshops will explore adaptation and mitigation pathways, and develop innovative policy strategies and responses.


CLIMSAVE Special Issue in the journal Climatic Change

The CLIMSAVE project has now published a Special Issue on "Regional integrated assessment of cross-sectoral climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability".  The EU 7th Framework programme project was led by Dr Paula Harrison (the IMPRESSIONS Coordinator) and involved 18 partner institutions across Europe.

The special issue (Climatic Change Volume 128, Issue 3 – 4), describes the development and application of a user-friendly software tool that has been designed to allow stakeholders to carry out regional integrated assessments of climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for themselves.  The 17 papers deal with the development and evaluation of the tool (the CLIMSAVE Integrated Assessment Platform) and the participatory scenarios within it, a series of cross-sectoral impact and adaptation case studies using the tool to assess the outcomes for multiple sectors, adaptive capacity, vulnerability hotspots, cost-effectiveness of adaptation options, interactions between adaptation and mitigation, and a synthesis of the project outcomes focusing on how the tool can be used to inform robust policy responses to climate change.  The volume provides an overview of the difficulties and utility of, and lessons for the future for, stakeholder-led regional integrated assessment of climate change.

The IMPRESSIONS European case study is advancing the development of the CLIMSAVE Integrated Assessment Platform to include time-dependent responses and additional sectors.

More information available on the CLIMSAVE website:


Social vulnerability and climate change – online resource published

Climate Just is a new online resource intended to help identify communities that are vulnerable to extreme climate change impacts such as flooding and heatwaves. Primarily intended for municipalities and community-based groups in England, Climate Just helps to identify local resources to address social vulnerability and build local adaptation capacity.

Climate change has the potential to increase inequalities and disadvantage in the UK. Local authorities and other organisations working on climate change, or working with vulnerable communities, have a key role to play in responding to this challenge. The Climate Just website has been developed to provide evidence to support local action.

  • It highlights which people and places are likely to be most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather, including flooding and extreme heat, and the areas which might be most affected.
  • It also examines fuel poverty and inequities in energy policy and how these can be tackled locally.
  • Take a look at our maps to identify the issues in your local area and find guidance, case studies and resources on actions you could take to help build local resilience.

Find out more here: 


European Environment - State and Outlook 2015

The European Environment Agency has published its flagship report, the European Environment - State and Outlook 2015 (SOER 2015) .

It contains excellent online resources with detailed information, including downloadable graphs, tables and images. The report is compiled every five years and includes an assessment of trends and prospects, information on individual countries and regions, cross-country comparisons and the global context.

Aggregated level information on climate change, impacts, vulnerability and adaptation is included. 

Read more and find the report online here: