With persisting impacts of climate change on people’s health and livelihoods and the environment, the need to build resilience, adaptive capacity and sustainable and environmentally-friendly economic measures become more urgent.

IMPETUS, a four-year European Commission-funded project coordinated by EURECAT Foundation, aims to accelerate Europe’s climate adaptation strategy to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. By using an adaptation framework based on multi-sectorial, multi-scale and multi-impact solutions and building on Resilience Knowledge Boosters (RKBs), IMPETUS aims to align various governance levels and adaptation policies.

Persisting impact of climate change

Climate change effects are already evident around the globe and are negatively affecting economies, societies and the environment.

The persistence of climate change impacts demands continued efforts to build our resilience and adaptive capacity. Importantly, changes are needed in critical processes, practices, and structures to prevent risks and moderate potential damages along with the shift towards a sustainable and environmentally-friendly economy.

Shift towards a sustainable and environmentally-friendly economy

To help accelerate Europe’s climate adaptation strategy and meet the ambitions to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050, IMPETUS aims to turn climate commitments into tangible, urgent actions to protect communities and the planet. IMPETUS seeks to develop and validate a coherent cross-sectoral climate change adaptation framework, empowering citizens and societal actors to co-design adaptation packages and related implementation pathways. The framework accelerates the production of Innovation Packages that integrate the methodological, technological, governance, awareness, behavioural, economic and financial components.

Resilience and adaptation solutions are: (1) firmly anchored in knowledge as the basis for resilience; (2) co-designed and co-created with quintuple helix stakeholders, at multiple governance levels; (3) “low-regret” and scalable, depending on the evolution of climate change and other drivers; and (4) cost-effective and environmentally, economic and socially sustainable.

Multi-sectorial, multi-scale and multi-impacts solutions

The IMPETUS conceptual framework focuses on multi-sectorial, multi-scale and multi-impact solutions. The framework includes

(1) on-site novel adaptative technological solutions;

2) social innovations, stakeholder engagement and strategies for encouraging behavioural change;

(3) development, validation and assessment of region-specific adaptation pathways and Innovation Packages; and

(4) use of novel AI techniques to support knowledge sharing and elaboration of dynamic adaptation pathways.

IMPETUS applies the innovative technology, nature-based, governance, financing and public engagement solutions to seven EU regions covering all bio-geographical regions: (1) Continental (Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany); (2) Coastal (Coast of Catalonia, Spain); (3) Mediterranean (Region of Attica, Greece); (4) Atlantic (Province of Zeeland, The Netherlands); (5) Arctic (Troms & Finnmark, Norway); (6) Boreal (Zemgale Region, Latvia); and (7) Mountainous (Valle dei Laghi Area, Italy).

Aligning governance levels and adaptation policies

The IMPETUS conceptual framework bridges the gap between the several governance levels involved in climate change and adaptation policies. Alignment is achieved with a top-down and bottom-up approach, building on global and European policies and directives (top-down) while considering local and regional interventions to bring the framework in context (bottom-up).

IMPETUS applies Resilience Knowledge Boosters (RKBs) to create scalable and multi-level open knowledge spaces offering opportunities for experts, key communities, and quintuple helix stakeholders to share experiences and knowledge for implementing dynamic pathways and packages for climate adaptation.

Multi-disciplinary consortium of 32 partners

IMPETUS is a four-year H2020 project under the EU Water in the topic “Climate-resilient Innovation Packages for EU regions”. IMPETUS brings together a multi-disciplinary consortium of 32 partners.

The IMPETUS partners include: EURECAT Foundation (Coordinator), Nelen & Schuurmans, Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin, National Technical University of Athens, EURAC Research, Arctic University of Norway, Baltic Environmental Forum – Latvia, CIHEAM-Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company, Ministry of Environment and Energy – Greece,  Mantis Business Innovation, Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda – Spain, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, University of Girona, Lobelia Earth, KWR Water Research Institute, Water & Energy Intelligence, Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection – Germany, Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Global Climate Forum, MobyGIS, University of Bern, Consortia di Bacino Imbrifero Montano, Cantina Toblino, Troms og Finnmark County Council, Zemgale Planning Region – Latvia, Jelgava Municipal Operational Information Centre – Latvia, Thetis, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, International Union for Conservation of Nature, European Science Communication Institute.