ESPON CLIMATE - Climate Change and Territorial Effects on Regions and Local Economies in Europe

Thematic scope

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been pivotal in raising awareness on the costs of human inaction and interference with the climate system. The IPCC also indicated the urgency for studies disaggregated to the regional and even local scale. Furthermore, the IPCC identified a strong need for scenarios at regional and local scales to enable appropriate impact assessments. In its Green Paper “Adapting to climate change in Europe”, the European Commission also indicates that more research is needed to address the gaps in understanding global warming and its potential impacts on the environment. Against this backdrop, this project shall analyse how and to which degree climate change will impact on the competitiveness and cohesion of European regions and Europe as a whole. In addition, it shall investigate in which way policy can contribute to mitigate climate change, and to adapt to and manage those results of climate change that cannot be avoided, while making sure that synergies of mitigation and adaptation policies are being exploited.

Please read more about the main research areas and main results envisaged.

Lead Partner

TU Dortmund University, Germany.
Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Group.

Sounding Board

Eduarda Marques da Costa, Portugal
Pekka Erik Kangas, Finland

Budget: € 999.418,60

Project’s lifetime: March 2009 – April 2011

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 23 June 2009
Interim Report: 23 December 2009
Draft Final Report: 25 February 2011
Final Report: 31 May 2011


Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

More information

Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit:
Michaela GENSHEIMER, e-mail: [email protected]

Main research areas

  • The degree of vulnerability of different types of European regions to climate change; the impact of variations in different individual climate change parameters on these regions in economic, social, and environmental terms as well as the adaptive capacities of these regions and their further enhancement.
  • Territorial potentials for the mitigation of climate change in different types of European regions (in relation to e.g. renewable energy, carbon sinks, energy saving).
  • Potentially new types of regions emerging as a consequence of climate change, revealing the same characteristics regarding their adaptation and their mitigation capacities and the interdependencies among different types of European regions.
  • The effects of climate change on different sectors of regional and local economies and regional and local infrastructures, the impacts on regional water management.
  • Social and cultural implications of the aforementioned possible developments (e.g. regarding employment, standards of living and welfare in different regions), possible effects on migration within and/or from outside Europe both, in the short and long term as well as the likely effects for different types of regions.
  • Potential new development opportunities for European regions through adaptation and/or mitigation, their exploitation to achieve more competitiveness on regional and European scale.
  • Mitigation and adaptation measures to be applied in the different types of European regions to cope with climate change and the contribution of territorial policies to mitigation (e.g. necessary requirements for more sustainable transport modes).

Main results envisaged

  • Data input to the ESPON database as well as indicators on the impact of climate change on different sectors of regional and local economies and infrastructures, new complex indicators of regions’ and cities’ socio-economic situation, the degree of their vulnerability to climate change and their change in competitiveness due to climate change.
  • Typologies of European regions classifying the degree of vulnerability to climate change, the adaptation and mitigation capacities, the impact of climate change on regional and local economies and competitiveness, and those benefiting from climate change by gaining new development opportunities.
  • Case studies on the development opportunities and threats of the types of regions most vulnerable to climate change.
  • European maps on the degree of vulnerability of different types of European regions to climate change, their adaptation and mitigation capacities, the various types of impact of climate change on regional and local economies and infrastructures, the territorial dimension of mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change and development opportunities of cities and regions for competitiveness and cohesion in the wake of climate change.



ESPON Climate

  • Zip archive | 17.37MB

ESPON Climate

  • Zip archive | 91.10MB

Final Report Main Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 20.73MB

Final Report Executive Summary.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.15MB

Final Report Scientific Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 64.87MB

Final Report Case Study Alpine.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.64MB

Final Report Case Study Tisza.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 4.33MB

Final Report Case Study NRW.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 4.65MB

Final Report Case Study Spain.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.09MB

Final Report Case Study Bergen.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.95MB

Final Report Case Study Netherlands.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 6.97MB

Final Report Case Study Aquifers.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.93MB

Final Report Glossary.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 169KB

Final Report Indicators.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 110KB

Draft Final Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 12.63MB

Draft Final Report - Executive Summary.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 445KB

Draft Final Report - Scientific Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 22.88MB

Interim Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.79MB


  • Acrobat Document | 3.17MB

Inception Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 796KB

Project Specification.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 44KB