Making policies work

Cascading climate risks: Towards adaptive and resilient European societies

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Please note: the official website of the CASCADES project is www.cascades.eu.

The effects of climate change – ranging from extreme weather conditions to food and water shortages – do not only physically cross national borders, but can also impact global processes such as trade, business, conflict and migration.

For instance, in 2010, climate impacts in Russia and Pakistan resulted in a shortfall of cereals to international markets. Cereal prices spiked as a result of drought-related harvest failures and a subsequent Russian export ban. This led to higher food prices globally, including in Europe. In Egypt, the higher cost of food became one of the additional triggers for riots, which led to a change of government.

The impact of climate change within Europe has been relatively well-studied, but not much is known about how climate-related events occurring elsewhere might affect the continent. It is crucial that European policymakers are aware of the full spectrum of cross-border and cascading climate risks, and that they take them into account in their future policies.

How are the consequences of climate change interlinked and how do they can affect Europe? Source of the infographic: Hildén et al., 2020. Cascading climate impacts: a new factor in European policy-making.


This is where the interdisciplinary ‘CASCADES’ project aims to come in. The four-year project, funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, will analyse the cross-border impacts of climate change for Europe, identify critical risks and explore potential solutions.

The CASCADES project is coordinated by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and involves eleven other organisations and universities across Europe, including ECDPM:

ECDPM’s contributions will focus on the development, security and foreign policy implications of climate change outside of Europe. We will formulate recommendations on how European policies can address these risks coherently, analyse how European climate finance is affected by climate change, and advise on how these institutions can build resilience to climate risks.

An important part of our work will take place in regions that are key to European foreign policy, such as the Western Sahel (with a focus on Burkina Faso) and North Africa (zooming in on Tunisia).

We will be sharing the latest publications and events of the CASCADES project in our ‘Weekly Compass’ newsletter. Subscribe to stay up to date.

Get in touch with our team

For questions related to the project, please contact Hanne Knaepen. For communications and media enquiries, please get in touch with Valeria Pintus.


Publications​


Cascading climate impacts: a new factor in European policy-making
Mikael Hildén, Glada Lahn, Timothy R. Carter, Richard J. T. Klein, Ilona M. Otto, Benjamin Pohl, Christopher P. O. Reyer and Fabien Tondel, CASCADES brief, January 2020


In this brief, the authors share information on the ‘cascading’ effects of climate change and what this means for EU policies, and set share more information on the CASCADES project.


ECDPM CASCADES publications


Promoting policy coherence: Lessons learned in EU development cooperation
James Mackie,  ECDPM brief, September 2020


This brief looks at how the concept of policy coherence for development has evolved in European development policy circles and what measures the EU and its member states took to promote policy coherence since it was first written into the EU Treaty in 1992. It also puts forwards potential lessons on promoting policy coherence for EU policymaking for coping with the cascading effects of climate change


Boosting EU climate finance: Mitigate more without neglecting adaptation in poorer countries
Pamella Ahairwe and San Bilal, ECDPM brief, December 2019


The consequences of climate change, including droughts, floods, plummeting biodiversity and the loss of human lives, are undermining low-income and fragile countries’ development prospects. That is why EU efforts to boost climate action and finance should focus not only on mitigation but also adaptation. The European Green Deal will have to live up to this challenge.


Events


1 April 2020
CASCADES core/thematic workshop
This workshop, originally planned to take place in Brussels, has been organised virtually due to COVID-19


ECDPM’s related publications and other relevant work


Beyond (carbon) borders: externalising the Green Deal
ECDPM’s San Bilal contributed to this Friends of Europe’s virtual event on 8 June 2020.
During this event, participants discussed how the Green Deal can help achieve a global sustainable recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eight ways the European Investment Bank can help tackle climate change in Africa
San Bilal and Pamella Eunice Ahairwe, ECDPM blog, 11 May 2020

The complex link between climate change and conflict
ECDPM Great Insights magazine, volume 8, issue 4 (Autumn 2019)

The paradox of climate change: How Africa can step up climate action to lighten its vulnerability
Pamella Ahairwe, ECDPM blog, 14 October 2019

Finance to adapt: Making climate funding work for agriculture at the local level
Bethany Tietjen, Francesco Rampa and Hanne Knaepen, ECDPM paper, September 2019

Transforming food systems to combat climate change
Koen Dekeyser, Paulina Bizzotto Molina, Cecilia D’Alessandro and Bethany Tietjen, ECDPM blog, 15 August 2019

For further information on our work related to climate change, please take a look at our dossier: