Why climate services?

Climate Services

Serving a society in transition

President Junker’s commitment of leading ‘the fight against global warming […] in line with the objective of limiting any temperature increase to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels’ calls for a transformation and deep decarbonisation of the whole economy. A ‘forward-looking climate policy’ implies the reduction of fossil fuel emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050 – and their complete phase-out by 2100 – and significant adaptation efforts.

In this context, there is increasing demand for translating the existing wealth of climate data and information into customised tools, products and information (‘climate services’). Climate services have the potential to become the intelligence behind the transition to a climate-resilient and low-carbon society. They can help decision-makers take informed decisions in order to boost resilience and adaptation capacity by addressing existing or emerging risks.

The focus on Climate Services aims at building Europe’s capacity to respond and to improve resilience to climate change by strengthening significantly the nascent global market for demand-driven climate services for both mitigation of and adaptation needs.

The European Commission’s Research and Innovation policy and investments will drive the emergency of a climate services market by providing a framework that:

  • generates economic value from available climate data and models and ongoing climate research
  • makes sure that scientific research is designed to provide demonstrable benefits and solutions to the challenges facing our society

This will make action to mitigate and adapt to climate change more cost-effective, in turn making the European economy more competitive.

An EU agenda for climate services

The European Research and Innovation Roadmap for Climate Services, published in March 2015, sets out a strategy for action and a framework for discussion. It provides a basis for shared solutions and pathways towards a climate services market that benefits society.

In the context of the European Commission’s climate services initiative, the term ‘climate services‘ has a broad meaning: transforming climate-related data and other information into customised products such as projections, trends, economic analysis, advice on best practices, development and evaluation of solutions, and any other climate-related service liable to benefit that may be of use for the society.

These services include data, information and knowledge that support adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk management.

This article was originally published as a Policy Topic on the European Commission website.

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