BC3. Basque centre for climate change – Klima aldaketa ikergai

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This is just a short list of the more than 90 projects that are managed by BC3

Completed projects


Knowledge, Assessment, and Management for AQUAtic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services aCROSS EU policies


AQUACROSS seeks to expand current knowledge and foster the practical application of the ecosystem-based management (EBM) concept for all aquatic (freshwater, coastal, and marine) ecosystems (as a continuum) by contributing to the development of robust and cost-effective responses integrated management practices, and innovative business models addressing current and future changes in major drivers and pressures, integrated management practices, and innovative business models (Fig. 1). It thereby provides an unprecedented effort for seeking synergies and overcoming barriers between policy objectives, concepts, knowledge, data streams, and management approaches for freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems to support the timely achievement of the targets set out by the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2012-2020) adopted at COP10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).




Attaining Sustainable Services from Ecosystems ASSETS logo

The ASSETS project aims to explicitly quantify the linkages between ecosystem services that affect – and are affected by – food security and nutritional health for the rural poor at the forest-agricultural interface. The project proposes to integrate a suite of complexity tools and cutting edge models with more traditional participatory assessments in the field within a modified version of the Drivers-Pressures-States-Impacts-Response methodological framework to: identify how dynamic stocks and flows of ecosystem services at the landscape scale translate to local-level nutritional diets and health; and inform policy makers on how future land use and climate change will affect both food security and the ecosystem services associated with it.





Bottom-up Climate Adaptation Strategies towards a Sustainable Europe perseus logo

Climate change can disrupt ecological, social and economic systems, with some regions and sectors suffering significantly. Therefore, adaptation plays a paramount role in responding to climate change. Progress has been made, but there are still important obstacles. Knowledge of the benefits and costs of adaptation is sparse, unsystematic and unevenly distributed across sectors and countries. Planning suffers from substantial uncertainties in terms of precise impacts. It is also difficult to reconcile the bottom-up nature of adaptation with top-down strategic policy making on adaptation




BROWNFIELD Decontamination In Southern Europe Brodise 

BRODISE project wants to mobilize public and private purchasers and networks of cities in the field of soil decontamination, not (just) to networking and to create awareness, but to put the innovation process in action, to understand in-depth the technology state of the art and the innovation gap to be addressed  by significant R&D, to structure and design a joint R&D procurement initiative, leveraging the complementarity of the consortium partners to bring together the demand in order to create a critical mass to acquire cost effective  and  innovative  solutions,  whilst  creating new  jobs  and  opportunities  for  business  growth  in  Europe, with particular reference to SMEs.





Evaluación y valoración comparativa de los servicios de los ecosistemas en los sistemas agro-forestales: una metodología para la priorizacion de políticas con incidencia sobre los usos del suelo

El objetivo de CAUSE es analizar los mecanismos biofísicos de la provisión de los servicios ecosistémicos (SE) así como las implicaciones económicas que estos pueden tener permite a nuestra sociedad equilibrar ambos lados de la ecuación “medio ambiente vs. economía”, resultando en una mejor gestión y gobernanza. Hasta ahora, las aproximaciones a la cuantificación de los SE han ignorado su compleja dinámica y su estructura ecológica multidimensional, resultando en estimaciones de provisión de SE, usos y flujos, que no ofrecen la exactitud espacial o la precisión necesaria para informar de forma eficiente a la toma de decisiones. Estas aproximaciones no permiten tampoco un análisis basado en escenarios de una forma cuantitativa y explícita espacialmente.




Choosing Efficient Combinations of Policy Instruments for Low-carbon development and Innovation to Achieve Europe's 2050 climate targets Cecilia logo rgb 130x91px

The EU wants to transform itself to a low-carbon economy by mid-century. This transformation process will require an overhaul of the European economy, affecting a range of sectors – not only power generation, industry and transport, but also agriculture, construction or finance. Governing this transformation process is a huge challenge – stimulating the necessary innovations, ensuring public support, encouraging the needed investments, creating the right infrastructure, and avoiding lock-in into old, carbon-intensive technologies.

To manage this transformation, a range of policy instruments is required. The existing mix of climate policy instruments needs to be scaled up drastically to initiate the necessary changes.  But as the scale and scope of instruments increases, it becomes more important to understand and to manage their interaction, as do constraints on the political, legal and administrative feasibility. Policy solutions that have worked well in an economic niche are not necessarily suited to guide economic development on a broad scale; instruments that have co-existed well on a small scale may conflict when scaled up to an economywide level. To evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness, policy instruments cannot be viewed in isolation; understanding and managing their interaction becomes key.







Políticas climáticas y transición a una economía baja en carbono                  

Climaecon logo

El principal objetivo de este proyecto de investigación es contribuir al avance del conocimiento científico para promover la reducción de emisiones de carbono y favorecer la transición a una economía baja en carbono. Este proyecto está orientado, específicamente, a adquirir nuevos conocimientos que permitan avanzar en la resolución del Reto 5 ("Acción sobre el cambio climático y eficiencia en la utilización de recursos y materias primas") identificado en la Estrategia Española de Ciencia y Tecnología y de Innovación.




Consumer Behaviour for a Low Carbon Economy

Como objetivo central del proyecto, BC3 se está centrando en comprender los factores que impulsan los patrones de consumo. Lo que se busca es mejorar las políticas diseñadas y puestas en práctica para promover patrones de consumo más sostenibles y bajos en carbono. BC3 se está centrando especialmente en políticas diseñadas para mejorar la eficiencia energética en los hogares.




Knowledge Based Climate Mitigation Systems for a Low Carbon Economy perseus logo

The science of complex systems distinguishes linear from non-linear dynamics. Simpler systems can often be satisfactory described by linear models, but complex systems require non-linear models that can capture more of the characteristics of such systems, such as thresholds, feedback loops, avalanche effects, and irreversibility.

Linear systems can be validated by aligning models to the past and using the model to predict the future. Non-linear systems, however, are often time-asymmetric - they can be explained with the wisdom of hindsight, but are not always predictable. For example, systems may respond sharply to minor perturbations, and the quality of this response is a measure of the system resilience. In practice, non-linear dynamics are significant both at the micro-scale of small history and at the macro-scale of deep time. The brilliant young scientist, for example, may experience a series of epiphanies that change his/her understanding and behaviour in an unpredictable and irreversible way. The scientific community as a whole may experience an innovation-cascade that has a similar effect on a much larger scale.





DEltas, vulnerability and Climate Change; Migration as an Adaptation


With their large and often poor populations in low-lying areas, deltas have long been seen as highly vulnerable to climate change and non-climate drivers with, in the most extreme, large-scale displacement of people being the result. Migration is a complex process which is already occurring in all deltas, largely independent of climate change. Most research on deltas and migration tends to focus on individual system elements and issues rather than taking a systems-level perspective. This fails to consider the wider consequences of climate change and the interdependence between these phenomena and people’s behaviour. In contrast to previous research, this programme of research will take a systemic and multi-scale analytical perspective to understand gendered vulnerability and adaptation in deltas under a changing climate by analysing four contrasting populous delta systems in South Asia and Africa where there is significant potential for migration.




Analysing cobenefits among ECOsystems and HEALTH to cope with climate change risks

In the setting of the 2nd PNACC workprogramme, ECOHEALTH addresses the need to identify measures which could bring multiple co- benefits in health and ecosystems protection, in a context of adaptation to climate change, while mobilizing key stakeholders. The project relates to and expand some of the objectives stated in the Cost Action TObeWELL (Tourism, Wellbeing and Ecosystem Services, 2012-2016, Cost Action IS1204), which aims at bringing together principles of ecosystem services (ES), focusing on life support systems, with more non-material services such as culture, health and wellbeing. The project is also linked with the EU Project BASE (Bottom-up Climate Adaptation Strategies towards a Sustainable Europe, 2012-2016, FP7 ENV.2012.6.1-3), and specifically to the case study where BC3 and UPM are involved to assess co- benefits of adaptation measures in water and health to face droughts and heat waves in the area of Madrid.

Within this context, we aim to link research on wellbeing provided by ecosystems and the implications on human health. The idea is to explore how and in what way it is possible to improve human health and wellbeing, by using in a sustainable way natural resources and ecosystem services, while addressing adaptation to climate change. For example, in urban contexts, green spaces can be good adaptation options as they can provide a localized cooling effect (of 1°C - 2°C), while decreasing the risk of flooding. At the same time, they provide other co-benefits, such as improving air quality, cutting particulate pollution, reducing traffic noise, improving human health (both physical and psychological).




Economics of climate change adaptation in Europe Econadapt

The aim of the ECONADAPT project is to provide user-orientated methodologies and evidence relating to economic appraisal criteria to inform the choice of adaptation actions using analysis that incorporates cross-scale governance under conditions of uncertainty. A critical theme of the proposal is therefore to support the application of adaptation economics in the period following the publication of the EU’s 2013 Adaptation Strategy, focusing on key decision areas that need enhanced economic information, and on the key users of such information.




Landscapes in transition: synthesising knowledge on trade-offs between land use changes, ecosystem services and wellbeing.


Agricultural intensification is a dominant environment and development policy intervention in landscapes characterised by shifting cultivation and/or by a mosaic of farm and forest lands. And yet recent studies from ESPA and beyond are beginning to show that the outcomes of such interventions can frequently fail in their intentions to alleviate poverty and reduce losses of forests and biodiversity. The main objective of this research is to improve our understanding of the effects of agricultural intensification, with a view to better understanding how agricultural policy and interventions can be more sustainable and pro-poor.




Forward Looking Analysis of Grand Societal cHallenges and Innovative Policies Flagship logo

FLAGSHIP is an FP7 project, funded by the European Commission (DG RESEARCH) under the “Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities” theme, with the aim of developing a “Forward Looking Analysis of Grand Societal Challenges and Innovative Policies”.

The FLAGSHIP project thus aims at driving change, supporting the policy shift from adapting to changes through short-term policy responses, towards anticipating, welcoming and managing changes properly.





calculatinG heaLth impActs of atmospheric pollutioN in a Changing climatE Glance

Current annual global estimates of premature deaths from poor air quality are estimated in the range of 2.6-4.4 million, and 2050 projections are expected to double against 2010 levels. In Europe, annual economic burdens are estimated at around 750 bn €. Climate change will further exacerbate air pollution burdens; therefore, a better understanding of the economic impacts on human societies has become an area of intense investigation. European research efforts are being carried out within the MACC project series, which started in 2005. The outcome of this work has been integrated into a European capacity for Earth Observation, the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS). In MACC/CAMS, key pollutant concentrations are computed at the European scale and globally by employing chemically-driven advanced transport models. In GLANCE,  an  integrated assessment model is developed for calculating the health impacts and damage costs of air pollution at different physical scales. It combines MACC/CAMS (assimilated Earth Observations, an ensemble of chemical transport models and state of the art ECWMF weather forecasting) with downscaling based on in-situ network measurements. 

The strengthening of modeled projections through integration with empirical evidence therefore reduces errors and uncertainties in the health impact projections. In addition, GLANCE will yield improved data accuracy at different time resolutions. This project is a multidisciplinary approach which brings together leading experts from natural sciences and socioeconomic fields.  GLANCE benefits the European community by contributing a novel approach to assess impacts of air quality at the local and regional levels, thus benefiting to long running EU commitments, while exploring new pathways for exploiting earth observational data.



Grupo operativo de reducción de GEI

Grupo operativo para la reducción de gases de efecto invernadero en el sector porcino  Grupo operativo de reduccion de gei

La reducción de las emisiones de GEI en Europa y, por lo tanto, en España, es ya una realidad debido a los compromisos internacionales adquiridos, a la sensibilización de la sociedad y a la necesidad de alcanzar un sistema productivo más limpio y respetuoso con el medioambiente. Por lo tanto, la implantación de técnicas de reducción de GEI en las explotaciones porcinas es inevitable y, lo que se pretende con este proyecto, es ofertar a los agentes implicados en el diseño y manejo de las explotaciones porcinas un amplio abanico de tecnologías disponibles que, siendo eficaces medioambientalmente, sean además viables técnica y económicamente para que no solo no pongan en peligro la rentabilidad del sector porcino, sino que ayuden a mejorar los rendimientos productivos y la imagen de las granjas y del mundo rural.




Modelización de las emisiones de N y C usando el DNDC para obtención de factores de emission dentro de diferentes prácticas agrícolas

Una de las principales prioridades para la agricultura del futuro, según la Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change (2011), es promover la intensificación de la producción agrícola reduciendo impactos ambientales como las emisiones gaseosas (N2O, CO2, CH4, NOx y NH3). Para poder actuar en esta línea a través de prácticas agrícolas es necesario entender bien la dinámica del N y su relación con el ciclo del C y agua en sistemas agrarios.





Entre los diferentes impactos del cambio climático, en la CAPV se prevé que, para finales de este siglo haya un aumento importante de temperatura tanto del aire como del océano, una reducción anual de la precipitación y un aumento del nivel del mar (Gobierno Vasco, 2011).

En relación con la temperatura, se estiman aumentos de 1-3°C de la temperatura mínima en invierno y una disminución del 50% en el número de días con temperaturas mínimas por debajo de 0°C (Gobierno Vasco, 2011)2. Se esperan también aumentos significativos de las temperaturas máximas, especialmente durante la época estival, que podrían alcanzar los 3°C a finales de siglo. Concretamente, se estima que la media de las temperaturas máximas para el periodo 2071-2100 se acercará a 39°C, lo que supone una diferencia de 4°C respecto al periodo 1978-2000. En consecuencia, se espera un aumento en la intensidad, frecuencia y duración olas de calor durante este siglo.

Entre otras consecuencias, estos cambios de temperatura pueden tener efectos sobre la salud humana. Por un lado, los inviernos más suaves contribuirían a reducir el pico de mortalidad invernal. Por otro lado, se estima que las temperaturas más elevadas contribuirán al aumento de determinadas enfermedades infecciosas, la propagación de vectores de las mismas (como mosquitos o garrapatas), así como el aumento de determinadas enfermedades de origen alimentario ligadas al incremento de temperatura (por ejemplo, salmonelosis). Además, las olas de calor pueden implicar un aumento de las cardiopatías y ciertas enfermedades respiratorias como asma y rinitis, que afectarán principalmente a los segmentos más vulnerables de la población (ancianos y niños) así como a los que padecen ya alguna enfermedad de este tipo






Optimised animal specific barn climatisation facing temperature rise and increased climate variability

optibarn logo

OptiBarn tends to develop region-specific, sustainable adaptation strategies for dairy housing, focusing on an optimised climatisation of naturally ventilated buildings (NVB).

Naturally ventilated buildings are particularly vulnerable to climate change since the indoor climate strongly depends on the extremes and variability of the outdoor climate. Without sound adaptation strategies, increased climate variability will result in a sub-optimal thermal environment in many livestock buildings impairing production and welfare of animals.




Olas de calor y salud: impactos y adaptación en Euskadi  Logo klima2050

El objetivo principal del proyecto OSATU es desarrollar una metodología con elementos clave para ayudar a la toma de decisiones en materia de prevención de los efectos de las olas de calor sobre la salud en Euskadi en un contexto de cambio climático. Además, se espera poder obtener resultados que resulten relevantes para adaptar los planes de alerta temprana a los cambios esperados en el futuro.




Politicas de Apoyo a la eficiencia enérgetica: impuestos vs subvenciones

El objetivo principal de este proyecto se centra en la comprensión de los factores que explican las pautas de consumo desde la óptica de mejorar las políticas para la promoción de hábitos de consumo más sostenible y bajos en carbono; con una atención especial a las políticas de promoción de la eficiencia energética en el consumo residencial. Para ello se procederá a analizar las siguientes cuestiones: el papel de las eco-etiquetas en las decisiones del consumidor, el sobreprecio que actualmente se paga en el mercado por bienes ambientalmente superiores y la sensibilidad (elasticidad precio de la demanda) de sustitutivos cercanos ambientalmente superiores y bajos en carbono. Toda esta información nutrirá el análisis de los instrumentos de política diseñados para favorecer cambios en las pautas de consumo hacia hábitos más sostenibles. En este contexto se analizarán nuevos instrumentos de política de acuerdo a las lecciones aprendidas a lo largo del proyecto. El esfuerzo se centrara en uno de los tres grupos de bienes que representan gran parte de la huella ecológica y de carbono en el consumo residencial: los electrodomésticos; como indicadores del consumo de energía en el hogar.




Public health impacts in URban environments of Greenhouse gas Emissions reduction strategies perseus logo

The project will examine the health impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction policies in urban settings inEurope, China and India, using case studies of 3-4 large urban centres and three smaller urban centres. Sets of realistic interventions will be proposed, tailored to local needs, to meet published abatement goals for GHG Emissions for 2020, 2030 and 2050.

Mitigation actions will be defined in four main sectors: power generation/industry, household energy, transport and food and agriculture. The chief pathways by which such measures influence health will be described, and models developed to quantify changes in health-related ‘exposures’ and health behaviours. Models will include ones relating to outdoor air pollution, indoor air quality and temperature, physical activity, dietary intake, road injury risks and selected other exposures.





Diseño de una Metodología para La Evaluación de la Sostenibilidad de Planes de Remediación de Suelos  Remedisost logo

El proyecto REMEDISOST pretende desarrollar una metodología rigurosa, fiable y robusta que consiga realizar un análisis y evaluación de la sostenibilidad de los distintos planes de remediación de suelos contaminados que, desde el punto de vista técnico, permitan recuperar un suelo desde una situación inicial de contaminación hasta una situación final acorde con el uso que se pretende dar al suelo.




Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures Resin

With most of its population and capital goods concentrated in urban areas, cities are key to the European economy. One of the major challenges cities face are more frequent extreme weather events due to climate change. The current diversity of approaches and methods available for cities developing an adaptation strategy limits the comparability between cities of vulnerabilities, adaptation options, infrastructures, etc., and, as a result, the resilience capability. The lack of standardized information to prioritize and select appropriate adaptation options restricts the exchange of experiences between cities. 




El Papel de la Equidad Social en la Gobernanza de la Naturaleza desde una Perspectiva Socio-Ecológica



The role of Social Equity in the Governance of Nature: A Social-Ecological approach 

Sees logo


SEES tiene como finalidad contribuir al conocimiento y ayudar a los tomadores de decisiones y agentes involucrados en la conservación de la naturaleza para gestionar adecuadamente la interrelación entre la conservación y la equidad social desde un enfoque socio-ecológico, y por tanto más allá de una perspectiva biofísica, tal y como normalmente se analizan los instrumentos de la conservación. El objetivo general del proyecto es analizar empíricamente los impactos de equidad en los programas de pagos por servicios ambientales (PSA) como sistema de gobernanza de la conservación. Este objetivo surge del escaso énfasis conceptual y empírico del marco de los servicios de los ecosistemas sobre la equidad y los instrumentos de conservación (distribución de costes y beneficios, reconocimiento de valores de distintos actores y los procedimientos participativos). El marco conceptual en el que se basa la investigación parte de varios estudios publicados recientemente (p.e., Pascual et al 2010, Corbera y Pascual 2012, Narloch et al 2013 y Pascual et al 2014). Se realizarán casos de estudio en América Latina debido al énfasis e interés por los programas de PSA en la región. Los resultados serán diseminados tanto a investigadores como a tomadores de decisiones a nivel global.




Transitions pathways and risk analysis for climate change mitigation and adaption strategies Transrisk

The main aims and objectives of TRANSrisk project are:

To create a novel assessment framework for analysing costs and benefits of transition pathways, where uncertainty is at the heart of policy design rather than accounted for through sensitivity analysis at the end of the analysis. The innovative framework will integrate well-established approaches to modelling the costs of resilient, low-carbon pathways with a wider interdisciplinary approach including risk assessments. 

Designing a decision support tool for policymakers. A decision support tool should help policy makers to better understand uncertainties and risks and enable them to include risk assessments into more robust policy design.




Water Infrastructure Solutions from Ecosystem Services Underpinning Climate Resilient Policies and Programmes

(WISE-UP to Climate)

WISE-UP logo

WISE-UP project brochure (PDF, 3MB)

Major new climate financing for adaptation is coming on stream with water infrastructure as a priority. Ecosystem services need to be linked more directly and clearly into water infrastructure development, for climate change adaptation and integration into water, food and energy security. If river basins themselves are treated as natural infrastructure, based on the ecosystems services they provide, then infrastructure planning and investment can consider alternate ‘portfolios’ of built and natural infrastructure. This project will develop, test and demonstrate approaches to using portfolios of built and natural water infrastructure development to achieve more optimal outcomes for the multiple goals of poverty reduction, water-food-energy security, biodiversity conservation and climate resil-ience. WISE-UP will demonstrate the application of natural infrastructure as a ‘nature-based solution’ for climate change adaptation and more sustainable development in the Volta and Tana river basins of West and East Africa respectively.




WISER: Which Ecosystem Service Models Best Capture the Needs of the Rural Poor?  

It is widely acknowledged that poor rural communities are frequently highly dependent on ecosystem services (ES) for their livelihoods, especially as a safety net in times of hardship or crisis. However, a major challenge to the understanding and management of these benefit flows to the poor is a lack of data on the supply, demand and use of ecosystem services by the poor, particularly in the developing world where dependence on ES is often highest.

Recent work suggests that errors associated with the commonly used global proxies (such as benefits transfer) are likely to be substantial and therefore confuse or worse, misdirect, policy formulation or management interventions (such as perverse subsidies). Given these issues, recent improvements in integrated modelling platforms - in some cases founded on desktop process-based models - which aim to provide improved and dynamic maps of current and future distributions of ES have much to offer ES-based poverty alleviation interventions and policy. While these next generation process-based models appear to have a role to play in ES-based poverty alleviation efforts, the level of sophistication and data needs that is required to deliver policy relevant information is poorly understood. It is, for example, unclear whether even the most sophisticated process-based biophysical model is able to provide sufficiently accurate information for regional- or local-scale policy decision making when based on globally available datasets. Similarly, there has been no attempt to quantify the degree to which disaggregation of beneficiaries is necessary within integrated modelling platforms to provide information on managing natural assets that is relevant to the poorest people.



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