Category 18 April 2019

CLIMSAVE - participatory scenario methodology

In CLIMSAVE, the knowledge of stakeholders and scientists is highly integrated from the beginning of the project. In particular, the participatory scenario methodology gave stakeholders a central role in developing qualitative socio-economic scenarios, potential adaptation options, as well as in linking them. Moreover, these products were in turn linked to the Integrated Assessment (IA) Platform of the project.

The methodology represented a key output of the project and provided the holistic approach of the outcomes. The most valuable actions were the stakeholder selection process, the stakeholder workshops and the qualitative scenarios resulting from these workshops

First, as far as the selection process is concerned, the group of stakeholders has been determined to ensure that wide range of points of view would be taken into account. The following selection criteria were applied: social diversity (governments, civil society, businesses, research), geographical specificity, topical diversity (all relevant sectors including urban, agriculture, forestry, water, coasts and biodiversity), gender balance and age. These categories were used to select participants for both the European and the Scottish workshops. The diversity of participants was considered a success, although it was easier to recruit stakeholders for the Scottish case than for the European.

Second, the workshops were organized to maximize involvement of participants at all possible levels. The stakeholders defined socio-economic scenarios, provided input concerning the user interface design and explored various strategic options and their consequences on climate change adaptation under the different scenarios. The final workshop would provide the overall lessons learned on both strategies about the climate change adaptation under different scenarios and the social learning experience of the stakeholders involved.

Finally, as a result of the workshops, various scenarios have been defined. The overall scenario development method provided a story-and-simulation (SAS) approach in which stakeholders developed narrative stories and linked them to mathematical models in an iterative process. These stories determined some of the most important drivers of future change (e.g. population and GDP growth) that form the quantitative input for the mathematical models within the IA Platform. In addition to socio-economic scenarios, climate change scenarios were also integrated into the IA Platform models. Emissions scenario, climate sensitivities and a global climate model were selected by stakeholders in order to explore the effects of climate change uncertainties on cross-sectorial impacts and vulnerabilities.


Combining qualitative and quantitative understanding for exploring cross-sectoral climate change  impacts, adaptation and vulnerability in Europe. Paula A. Harrison, Ian P. Holman, George Cojocaru, Kasper Kok, Areti Kontogianni, Marc J. Metzger & Marc Gramberger