Countryregional activity

European Union

The European Union has an extensive research programme on climate change, including agriculture and land-use planning to benefit the environment.

In terms of mitigation policy, the EU has a GHG monitoring scheme, and an emissions trading scheme (ETS). At present agriculture is not included in the ETS. Emissions from sectors not included in the EU ETS -such as transport, housing, agriculture and waste - will be cut by 10% from 2005 levels by 2020. Each member state will contribute to this effort according to its relative wealth, with national emission targets ranging from -20% for richer member states to +20% for poorer ones.

With regard to adaptation to climate change, the EU released a White Paper on adaptation to climate change in Europe in 2009. Agriculture is discussed in this White Paper.

The Commission also has an Energy Policy, which includes biomass for heating and electricity, and biofuels. The Commission's proposal for FP7 gives a high priority to biomass research.

The Commission funds several research projects relating to climate change. The most relevant projects are summarised below:

Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies: supporting European climate policy (ADAM)

Funded by the European Commission and co-ordinated by The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the United Kingdom, ADAM is an integrated research project that will lead to a better understanding of the trade-offs and conflicts that exist between adaptation and mitigation policies. ADAM will support EU policy development in the next stage of the development of the Kyoto Protocol and will inform the emergence of new adaptation strategies for Europe.

Projection of Economic impacts of climate change in Sectors of the European Union based on bottom-up Analysis (PESETA)

The main objective of the PESETA project is to contribute to a better understanding of the possible economic impacts induced by climate change in Europe over the 21st century.

The project is co-ordinated by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS). PESETA largely benefits from DG research projects that have developed models to project impacts of climate change (e.g. the DIVA model) and climate scenarios for Europe. PESETA uses the climate data provided by the PRUDENCE project (e.g. temperature, precipitation) together with the Rossby Centre. All maps have been processed by the Joint Research Centre's Environment Institute.

PESETA examines climate change impacts on the following sectors: coastal systems, energy demand, human health, agriculture, tourism, and river basin floods. This enables a comparison between them and therefore provides a notion of the relative severity of the damage inflicted. For each of these sectoral categories, a corresponding sectoral-based study is developed by the project partners.


The CIRCE Integrated Project, funded under the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme, aims to highlight impacts and possible adaptation actions of the climate change in the Mediterranean region, including Europe, North Africa and Middle East.


This project aims to develop an ensemble prediction system for climate change based on the principal state-of-the-art, high resolution, global and regional Earth System models developed in Europe, validated against quality controlled, high resolution gridded datasets for Europe, to produce for the first time, an objective probabilistic estimate of uncertainty in future climate at the seasonal to decadal and longer timescales.

The project aims to quantify and reduce uncertainty in the representation of physical, chemical, biological and human-related feedbacks in the Earth System (including water resource, land-use, and air quality issues, and carbon cycle feedbacks), and to maximise the use of the results by linking the outputs of the ensemble prediction system to a range of applications, including agriculture, health, food security, energy, water resources, insurance and weather risk management.

NitroEurope IP

The NitroEurope IP - or NEU for short - project addresses the question of what is the effect of reactive nitrogen (Nr) supply on net greenhouse gas budgets for Europe? NEU aims to advance the fundamental understanding of C-N interactions at different scales and deliver: process-based models, landscape-level assessments, European maps of C-N pools, Nr fluxes and NGE, and independent verification of GHG inventories, as required under the Kyoto Protocol.

In FP7 (2007-13), climate relevant research is dealt with across various themes such as "Environment (including Climate Change)", "Energy and '"Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology". Targeted climate change research fall under the theme "Environment (including climate change)", Activity 6.1 Climate Change, Pollution and Risks", focusing in particular on the following issues:

• The earth system and climate, and related abrupt changes

• Natural and anthropogenic emissions

• The global carbon cycle

• Greenhouse gases

• Future climate

• The natural, social and economic impacts of climate change

• Mitigation and adaptation strategies, including novel responses to climate change

• Natural climate-related hazards such as floods, droughts, storms or forest fires

• Climate change impacts on health. Canada

The Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division of Natural Resources Canada has funded several projects on impacts of and adaptation to climate change since 1998. At present the division focuses on two main activities, the The Regional Adaptation Collaboratives (RACs) programme, and the Tools for Adaptation programme. This RACs programme will provide a mechanism for collaboration between different levels of government, private sector entities, and community organisations on complex adaptation issues that address federal, sectoral, or regional priorities. The objective of this initiative is to equip decision-makers with the information and advice that they need to make policy, operational, and management changes that respond to regional opportunities and threats from a changing climate.

The Tools for Adaptation programme will develop adaptation tools to support decision-making on whether and how to adapt to a changing climate. An adaptation tool is a method that guides non-climate change experts through a series of analytical steps to examine the implications of climate impacts on their policies, plans, and operations; and determine appropriate response options. There is a need to make climate change information relevant and useful to potential users from a variety of different sectors. An efficient way to meet this need is to develop tools tailored to meet user needs.

Previously, Natural Resources Canada established the Canadian Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network (C-CIARN), with the mandate of promoting and encouraging research on climate change impacts and adaptation. This network closed in 2007 after successfully meeting its mandate.

Examples of projects funded by the Canadian government include:

Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Agricultural Land-Use Suitability: Spring Seeded Small Grains on the Prairies - where researchers used climate models to project climate change impacts on land suitability for prairie agriculture. They found that by 2040-69, climate change would lead to a change in limitations over much of the Prairies' agricultural regions and some new opportunities may develop in northern areas. Appropriate adaptation measures are required to maintain the sustainability of spring-seeded small grain crops on the southern prairies and to take advantage of new potential opportunities.

Canadian Economic and Emissions Model for Agriculture (CEEMA) -The CEEMA report is one in a series of three Technical Reports which document an integrated agro-ecological economic modelling system, which can be used to simultaneously assess the economic and GHG emission impacts of agricultural policies.

Cost Benefit Analysis for Using Climate-based Models as a Risk Management Strategy in Saskatchewan - this analysis examines the feasibility of developing a system that uses climate-driven risk management products to help Saskatchewan farmers deal with the risks associated with climate variability. By studying a similar system in Manitoba, it was found that, with certain adjustments, such a system could also work in Saskatchewan.

The Canadian government also established Drought Watch, whose goal is to provide timely information of the impacts of climatic variability on water supply and agriculture, and to promote practices that reduce drought vulnerability and improve management during a drought.

United States

The United States' Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) integrates federal research on climate and global change, as sponsored by thirteen federal agencies and overseen by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Council on Environmental Quality, the National Economic Council and the Office of Management and Budget.

Published in May 2008, the Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 (SAP 4.3): The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States is the most extensive examination of the impacts of climate change on important US ecosystems undertaken to date. SAP 4.3 is one of a series of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Products being produced under the auspices of the United States Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), which co-ordinates the climate change research activities of U.S. government agencies

New Zealand

See earlier discussion on the ETS in New Zealand.


Australia's department for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has an AUD 46.2 million Climate Change Research Program as part of Australia's Farming Future. It will fund research projects and on-farm demonstration pilots that address the following priorities:

• Reducing greenhouse pollution

• Better soil management

• Adapting to a changing climate.

Reducing greenhouse pollution will include research into:

• Reducing methane emissions

• Reducing nitrous oxide emissions

• Life-cycle analysis.

Better soil management will include research into carbon in soils.

Adaptation will include research into new adaptation technologies and new techniques.

The Climate Change Research Program will support large-scale collaborative projects that involve a range of stakeholders (research providers, producers and state governments). It will encourage the development of tools for producers that will make a real difference in building their adaptability and resilience to climate change.

Land and Water Australia includes within its research programmes The Managing Climate Variability Program, which was created to focus research investment on important issues of climate variability and climate risk management for agriculture and natural resource management.

In addition, Australia recently produced the Garnaut Review which has been discussed earlier in this report.

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