Developing protocol-based storylines of future European agriculture to support climate change impact and adaptation research

16:15 Tuesday 28 May

SS020 • OC119

Room S16


Hermine Mitter (Austria) 1; Anja Techen (Germany) 2; Franz Sinabell (Austria) 3; Katharina Helming (Germany) 2; Benjamin Bodirsky (Germany) 4; Ian Holman (United Kingdom) 5; Kasper Kok (Netherlands) 6; Heikki Lehtonen (Finland) 7; Adrian Leip (Italy) 8; Chantal Le Mouel (France) 9; Hermann Lotze-Campen (Germany) 4; Erik Mathijs (Belgium) 10; Bano Mehdi (Austria) 1; Melania Michetti (Italy) 11; Klaus Mittenzwei (Norway) 12; Oliver Mora (France) 9; Lilian Oygarden (Norway) 12; Jörg Priess (Germany) 13; Pytrik Reidsma (Netherlands) 6; Rüdiger Schaldach (Germany) 14; Erwin Schmid (Austria) 1; Heidi Webber (Germany) 2; Martin Schönhart (Austria) 1

1 - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna; 2 - Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, ZALF, Landscape Research Synthesis; 3 - Austrian Institute of Economic Research, WIFO; 4 - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, PIK; 5 - Cranfield University; 6 - Wageningen University and Research; 7 - Natural Resources Institute Finland, LUKE; 8 - European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate for Sustainable Resources; 9 - Institut national de la recherche agronomique; 10 - University of Leuven, KU Leuven; 11 - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, CMCC; 12 - Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, NIBIO; 13 - Helmholtz-Center for Environmental Research, UFZ; 14 - University Kassel

Climate change researchers have developed the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) to inform integrated assessments at large geographical scales. Their spatial resolution and level of detail is insufficient for climate change impact and adaptation assessments in agriculture at European, national and regional scales. Therefore, we aim at extending and enriching the SSPs by developing new storylines of future European agriculture, called Eur-Agri-SSPs. We have developed a step-by-step procedure, i.e. a shared protocol that guides the storyline development process.

The process design builds on established standards for storyline development, which have been adjusted to the demands of the climate change impact, adaptation and integrated assessment research communities. A science-driven, iterative process is suggested to ensure scientific credibility and horizontal consistency. A top-down, nested approach is followed to achieve vertical consistency of storylines across scales. A participatory and interdisciplinary design should help to increase legitimacy, relevance, richness and creativity of the Eur-Agri-SSPs. To be consistent with the SSPs, five Eur-Agri-SSPs are developed by implementing the shared protocol. They are structured in a classical 2×2 matrix in order to reveal pathways into the future that differ with respect to their mitigation and adaptation challenges. During the process of developing Eur-Agri-SSPs, we have engaged with more than 60 European stakeholders via semi-structured interviews and workshops. Involved stakeholders represent governmental bodies, administration, policy making, private and public organizations and enterprises as well as civil movements. They shared insights on expected changes of European agriculture, relevant driving forces, and their perceived priority and uncertainty. Reported driving forces of European agriculture can be clustered around the topics of agricultural policy, legal and institutional conditions, prices and taxes, demand and international trade, technology development and diffusion, environmental factors, demographics, societal factors and urbanization. These clusters form the basis for structuring Eur-Agri-SSPs and identifying mitigation and adaptation challenges. Eur-Agri-SSPs are available for climate change impact and adaptation assessments and aim at stimulating research and policy ideas, education and training, and discussion among stakeholders.

A key methodological challenge is to link global SSPs with regional perspectives provided by the stakeholders, while maintaining vertical consistency and ensuring stakeholder buy-in. We conclude that the shared protocol facilitates co-design of storylines, can be transferred to other regions, sectors and scales, and helps to improve comparability of impact and adaptation assessments in agriculture. The Eur-Agri-SSPs form the basis for national, regional and sub-sectoral storylines and facilitate a goal-oriented stakeholder dialogue in agricultural adaptation.