IMPRESSIONS 4th General Assembly: the Puzzle Comes Together

The fourth IMPRESSIONS General Assembly took place from 24 to 26 January 2017 at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, to mark the start of an exciting period for the large scale FP7 project. Entering the last two years of its lifetime, the project is now starting to reap the fruits of three years spent building and testing its conceptual and modelling frameworks through a strong stakeholder engagement programme.

IMPRESSIONS is addressing knowledge gaps related to the assessment of potential impacts from high-end climate and socio-economic scenarios and the need for transformative solutions for reducing these risks. The project has developed new models and methods for exploring the complex interactions between sectors and regions (both within and outside the EU) under extreme climate and societal changes, as well as fostering synergies between adaptation and mitigation actions.

IMPRESSIONS group photo, CEU, Budapest, Hungary; Credit: Pavel Stoev

With the project entering its final phase of implementation, the IMPRESSIONS team is now moving forward by stress-testing existing adaptation plans, applying models to test the effectiveness of different response options, and elaborating adaptation and mitigation pathways in order to determine sustainable solutions to high-end climate change with stakeholders in each of its case studies.

Some of the project results and recommendations are already compiled in a Policy Booklet, expected to be published and made available for the European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) Conference, which this year is co-organized by IMPRESSIONS and will take place from 5 to 9 June 2017.

Additionally, an IMPRESSIONS special issue is now under way and is expected to be published by the end of 2017. All project results will also be made available through a dedicated IMPRESSIONS Information Hub that is under development and will be launched next year.

The meeting in Budapest was also an exciting opportunity for the IMPRESSIONS team to meet their colleagues from the now associated Korean MOTIVE project and exchange know-how and ideas for future work and possible collaborations.

New EEA Report: Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016

Europe’s regions are facing rising sea levels and more extreme weather, such as more frequent and more intense heatwaves, flooding, droughts and storms due to climate change, according to the latest European Environment Agency report published on 25 Jan 2017. The report assesses the latest trends and projections on climate change and its impacts across Europe and finds that better and more flexible adaptation strategies, policies and measures will be crucial to lessen these impacts.

Find a summary of the report's Key Findings, or download the full report.

Second Iberian Case Study Workshop: Innovative Responses to Climate Change

The Second Iberian Case Study Workshop took place on 29 & 30 September 2016, in Toledo, Spain. The event brought together Spanish and Portuguese stakeholders, representing different sectors (e.g. water, conservation, agro-forestry, education, etc.), from research, public institutions, business and civil society.

In an intense two-day workshop, stakeholders were guided through a highly interactive process, through which they discussed future developments in Spain and Portugal in view of high-end climate change, developed a shared vision for the region, and came up with innovative responses and strategies to tackle some of the most pressing issues.

To kickstart these discussions the IMPRESSIONS team presented some of its work, including modelling results on climate change impacts on water and agro-forestry systems, and presented existing policies in the region (the Common Agricultural Policy and the Water Framework Directive), to receive stakeholder input on how these policies will fare in the future.


Intensive discussions during the Second Iberian Case Study Workshop in Toledo (Credit: S. Haenen)

In 2016, our scientists met stakeholders across all five case studies, with a focus on developing visions for high-end climate change futures. This workshop was the last of this second round of workshop aimed at allowing researchers to measure the project’s work against real-world needs and experiences. Through this workshops IMPRESSIONS paved the way towards developing the multi-scale climate change scenario backbone of the project, which will be tested and discussed next year at the third round of stakeholder meetings.

The Bond You Hold from Diego Galafassi on Vimeo. Credits:

A physical theatre performance overlaid with pattern projections and music embodying the dynamic relation between climate and humans, in a world beyond 2oC warming.
Directed by Diego Galafassi and Maria Heras.
Performance and choreography Maria Magdalona Beky Winnerstram and Erin Fowler. Music composed by Katherine Young, USA
Scientific direction David Tàbara and Kasper Kok
Make-up Flora Velloso (
Light design Ronald Hessman

Art projections from Tone Bjordam and Marten Scheffer’s collaboration "Critical Transitions". For more information see this website:
Additional camera Nick Graalman. Additional projections Diego Galafassi, Felix Pharand-Deschenes in "Climate Change – The State of The Science" (IGBP and Globaia production).
Additional music Marten Scheffer and Arnin Scheidel

Special Session on Climate Change at the EAEPE 2016 Sponsored by IMPRESSIONS

Having recently moved up on climate policy agenda, the relationship between climate policy risk and macroeconomic and financial stability still remains in the shadow of uncertainty on the role of alternative green fiscal and targeted monetary policies and their systemic implications on financial markets.

This issue was brought up at the 2016 Conference of the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy, as a part as a dedicated session on climate change co-organized and co-funded by IMPRESSIONS in collaboration with Boston University and the University of Sussex.

The 28th Annual EAEPE Conference took place from 3 to 5 November 2016 in Manchester, UK with this year’s topic being "Industrialisation, Socio-economic Transformation and Institutions". Bringing climate change into the agenda IMPRESSIONS contributed to bring together leading economists and climate experts with the goal to understand complexity and uncertainty in coupled human-natural systems.

The special session aimed to disclose limits of sector based and integrated assessment models for modelling the dynamics of a complex system, such as the green economy. And discuss complementary approaches based on evolutionary economics approaches, linked to complexity science and based on System Dynamics, Agent Based Models and Network Analysis, as possible solutions to fill this modelling gap and contribute to understanding and action.

In so doing, the session shed light on the sources of uncertainty that characterise the relationship between climate policies and macroeconomic and financial stability, in order to contribute improving sustainability models to timely inform the climate policy process.


Introducing the Transnational Climate Impacts Index: Indicators of country-level exposure – methodology report

A new paper, provided by IMPRESSIONS partner, the Stockholm Environmental Institue (SEI), presents a framework for analysing countries’ exposure to transnational climate impacts – which occur in one country as a result of climate change in another place. It presents nine indicators, as well as a composite index.

Climate change mitigation is widely regarded as a global problem, but climate change impacts and adaptation are typically described as regional or local issues. This reflects the location-specific nature of physical impacts, but it fails to recognize the many interconnections among countries and regions, particularly in an increasingly globalized economy.

This paper introduces a new framework for examining climate change impacts and adaptation needs from an international perspective. Based on this framework, the authors develop indicators of country-level exposure to what they call the transnational impacts of climate change: those that occur in one place as a consequence of climate impacts somewhere else. The indicators make it possible to quantify each country’s exposure across multiple dimensions. The authors also construct a composite index: the Transnational Climate Impacts Index.

The paper explains the rationale and methodology by which indicators were selected, and invites feedback and suggestions from readers on how to further develop this research. There are significant opportunities to strengthen and deepen the quantitative assessment of exposure to transnational climate impacts, including via applications of the framework at the national rather than global level.

Download the working paper.