TRANSrisk is an EU funded research project aiming to innovatively transform the way in which climate change policy pathways are developed. The focus is to support EU and global climate change goals by providing analytical tools for risk and uncertainty aware policy making. TRANSrisk acknowledges the importance of modelling exercises, such as those carried out for the EU Roadmap 2050, but also recognises the considerable uncertainties inherent in modelling transition pathways and assessing the costs and benefits associated with mitigation scenarios. There is also a need to consider implementation risks, such as public acceptance of low emission technologies (or lack thereof) and co-effects of mitigation pathways. Unless properly included in policy design, these risks could halt introduction of technically and economically feasible mitigation options. TRANSrisk seeks to understand the costs, level of public acceptance, and the risks, uncertainties and co-effects associated with different mitigation pathways and low-carbon technologies. In order to help policymakers manage uncertainties TRANSrisk will gather data via 15 case studies from the EU and other regions, and employ a variety of different models to explore scenarios and pathways. TRANSrisk will also engage a wide range of stakeholders to help develop credible transition pathways, thus integrating quantitative and qualitative analysis in a unique and innovative way.

Project details

  • Project title: “Transitions Pathways and Risk Analysis for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption Strategies” (TRANSrisk)
  • Funding scheme: European Union Horizon 2020 Programme (EU H2020, grant agreement no. 642260)
  • Duration: 3 years (1 September 2015 – 31 August 2018)
  • Project coordinator: Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
  • Project website:
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Individual behaviour could also play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This research explored the impact a range of behaviour changes across mobility, food, heating, leisure, and waste would have on Greenhouse Gas emissions. The results show that individuals’ moderate to rigorous behaviour change in the EU could reduce per capita carbon footprint by 6-16%. Three behavioural profiles were used to estimate emission impact from changes in behaviour: Enthusiast, Conscious and Convenient profiles. The benefits from behaviour change would be significant emission reductions and a variety of co-benefits for public health, land use, and regional ecology.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has presented scenarios based on observation of impacts from climate change. TRANSrisk combines modelling tools with input from stakeholders to develop climate models by developing an quantified quantitative four stage analysis and gives conclusions from the analysis results for mitigation scenarios.

A significant proportion of Eastern Africa is a relatively poor with a predominately rural population and lack access to modern energy services. Reliance on traditional biomass has created severe problems for both the environment and the health of the population: improved access to cleaner fuels would solve this and achieve multiple policy goals. The Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM) is utilised to simulate future scenarios. The study suggests the optimal subsidy policy implementation and recommendations.

Achieving a decarbonised electricity sector is difficult, the main problem lies in integrating new energy sources e.g. Renewable Energy Sources (RES) into existing energy systems. This research is focused on achieving a decarbonised electricity sector in Greece and include both generating and storing clean energy at the local level. The DREEM model was calibrated for the case of Greece and simulated for 3 scenarios. Resulting with 2 policy scenarios.

In 2008, the Climate Change Act was established in the UK, committing to achieve 80% GHG emission reduction by 2050 compared to 1990. The UK electricity supply will need to be largely decarbonised by around 2030. The UK Government has supported both the development of renewable energy and nuclear power, but more the focus on the latter. There has been wide-ranging interest in the possibility of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), but also risk and uncertainties.

Many European countries has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% in 2050, relative to 1990 emission levels as part of the Paris Agreement which set an international ambition to combat climate change. Agriculture contributed 13% of the Netherlands’ total greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 from various soruces. Within the livestock sector, GHG emission reductions will need to be viable from an economic perspective but also meet social and environmental standards.

Part of the transformation to meet climate change mitigation goals will be a reduction in GHG emissions from the energy sector in the EU and Member States. This may involve large economic costs, particularly for investments. The ‘carbon bubble’ is a major financial concern, which may arise through the transition into a low carbon economy. Analysis suggests that investors’ risk perceptions of renewables have more of an impact than the perceived risk of fossil fuels.

The transport sector accounts for almost 1/4 of the EU’s total GHG emissions, and decarbonisation of the sector is therefore crucial. The use of electric powered transport is emerging as the most viable near-term solution to reduce CO2 emissions road transport. The falling costs of batteries means that Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) for personal use are becoming more cost competitive, so large potential for Electric Road Systems (ERS) but with substantial uncertainties in costs.

Kenya has committed to reduce domestic GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 but also is attempting to grow its economy against a backdrop of international agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This will mean harnessing the country’s significant renewable energy potential. The study covered three technologies: wind, solar, and the third, geothermal, is more specific to Kenya due to the Great Rift Valley. Overarching areas of interest and policy recommendations are given.