CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange costs (COACCH)

Submitted by Julia Barrott 11th March 2019 12:46
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Introduction

COACCH (CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange costs) is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and carried out by a consortium of 14 European organisations.

The final objective of COACCH is to produce an improved downscaled assessment of the risks and costs of climate change in Europe that can be accessed directly for the different needs of end users from the research, business, investment, and the policy making community.

Methods and Tools

COACCH will use an innovative co-design process to work closely with end users and key stakeholders to deliver improved downscaled datasets on climate change risks and costs.

This overall objective breaks down into five specific goals:

  1. developing technically excellent and innovative research on complex climate change impact chains by using downscaled climate information and advancing integrated assessment methods and models developed under early RTD (research and innovation) research calls;
  2. developing a solutions-oriented research and innovation approach involving stakeholders in the co-design, co-production and co-dissemination of policy driven research;
  3. significantly advancing the knowledge and evidence base not only on climate tipping elements and tipping points but also on socio-economic tipping points;
  4. improving the economic valuation of climate action (mitigation and adaptation) in the EU at various scales and over short to longer-term timeframes to support a better-informed policy process in the achievement of the EU's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC);
  5. enhancing innovation capacity and integration of this new knowledge through a process of co-dissemination of results with business, industrial, public decision makers and research communities.

Co-design

Stakeholder engagement is highly relevant to climate change risk assessment and decision-making: the European Union, in its Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, highlighted the need for co-creation of knowledge and co-delivery of outcomes with economic, industrial and research actors, public authorities and/or civil society. In response, the COACCH project has included co-design, co-production and co-dissemination as key principles for the development and delivery of research. This is reflected in the project title, “CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange costs”, and methodology. This approach involves a major change from previous European economic cost studies on climate change, which have been science led, and have used stakeholder engagement only to communicate results.

  • Co-design (cooperative design) is at the heart of COACCH. It consists of the participatory design of the research project with stakeholders (including users of the research). Co-design is the first phase of the co-production process, in which researchers and non-academic partners jointly develop the research project and define research questions that meet their collective interests and needs.
  • Co-production (cooperative production) is the participatory development and implementation of the COACCH research project with stakeholders. This uses practice-orientated research, co-producing the research and case studies through an iterative process that helps to translate the research into useful and useable information or knowledge.
  • Co-delivery / Co-dissemination (cooperative delivery) is the participatory design and implementation of strategies for appropriate use of research, including the joint delivery of research outputs and exploitation of results.

This inclusive approach characterizes the entire project, from defining research questions and policy scenarios to the impact and outreach activities. Stakeholders are involved with an innovative science-practice methodology using four thematic working group meetings: i) policy makers, ii) investors, iii) business and industry and iv) research and civil society.  This is complemented with bi-lateral follow-up meetings with deep engagement stakeholders, and online surveys. This ensures that research focuses on the interests and needs of users, addressing relevant cross-sectoral perspectives to provide meaningful information for the public and private sectors.

The integration of stakeholders at all stages of the project will foster and demonstrate a new research practice that moves COACCH beyond a purely academic study into a fully participatory scientific assessment of climate risks and costs for Europe.

Further resources