Professor Dr Daniela Jacob and colleagues at GERICS seek a better understanding of the climate services market and how to contribute to its development
Responding to the challenge posed by climate change involves both climate mitigation to rapidly reduce global carbon emissions, as well as adapting to current and future climate impacts that affect a wide range of economic sectors, and human activities. Policy action to address climate mitigation and adaptation goals benefits greatly from the use of climate information.
To help in this regard, recent years have seen the development and growth of a range of climate services. Climate services provide science-based and user-specific information relating to past, present, and potential future climate, and address all sectors affected by climate at global, regional, and local scales (WMO 2016).
The climate services market is regarded by the European Commission as one of the most important future markets, possessing enormous growth potential and holding the promise of significant future employment opportunities (EC 2015). The market, however, is currently in a nascent stage of development, and clearly requires further development.
In order to help facilitate this development, a better understanding of the market is required in a range of different areas. These include: Knowledge of the current market structures and stakeholders; knowledge about possible barriers to the development and use of climate service products, and how these may be overcome, or at least reduced; and an inventory of the current supply and demand for climate services, together with knowledge of user requirements for climate services in different economic sectors.
In possession of a better understanding of the market, focus and investment can be placed in areas where it is most needed, and holds the most promise for delivering targeted, high quality, and innovative climate services. In doing so, not only will stakeholders have better information on which to base their climate-related decisions, but the market potential that climate services possess may actually be realised.
The Climate Service Center Germany is actively engaged in contributing to this better understanding of the market for climate services on an ongoing basis. However, this contribution is currently focused on three major European funded projects, two of which are Horizon 2020 projects, EU-MACS and MARCO; and the other is a Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) project, SECTEUR. These projects will significantly contribute to a better understanding of the market structure (MARCO), user needs (SECTEUR), and barriers hampering market uptake of climate services (EU-MACS). Here we provide a short overview of these projects.
MARCO – Market Research for a Climate Services Observatory
The MARCO project aims to provide an assessment of the market for climate services. The current market is analysed using various quantitative and qualitative methods. The market involves, on the one hand, the providers – who they are, what kind of services they offer, what business models they employ, and what core competencies they possess.
On the other hand are the users – what they need, where they obtain their climate products, and what competencies, skills and resources they have. The findings will be further developed in case studies. The analysis will be carried out for different providers and users, as well as different sectors, product categories, spatial locations, and high value societal assets. This will be followed by a gap analysis and innovation modelling to reveal the untapped market. A foresight exercise will then outline market growth until 2030. Finally, recommendations for market observation and facilitation will be expressed.
EU-MACS – European Markets for Climate Services
The EU-MACS project investigates the fundamental barriers in the climate services market as well as ways to reduce or avoid them. Considerations include the entire value chain of climate services (Fig. 1). There are many potential barriers in the climate services market, and these will be analysed and categorised into political, economic, social, technological, ethical, and legal. In addition, the business models, data infrastructures, and quality requirements will be investigated. In so doing, potential approaches for eliminating or removing the various barriers can be explored, such that the supply of climate services can be better adjusted to the needs of the market. In general, the analysis is grounded in economic and political science theories on how service markets with public and private features can develop, and how innovations may succeed.
Figure 1: The essence of climate services
SECTEUR – Sector Engagement for the Copernicus Climate Change Service: Translating European User Requirements
The SECTEUR project is engaging and interacting with a wide number of stakeholders across six sectors. This is done through surveys, workshops and interviews, to establish an inventory of existing policy needs and user requirements, with respect to the use of essential climate variables, and climate impact indicators. The sectors covered are: agriculture and forestry, coastal areas, health, infrastructure, insurance, and tourism.
The project will establish the current size of the market for climate services in Europe and, working closely with users in each sector, will explore issues relating to the technical feasibility of delivering on user needs, and implementing them in the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) climate data store. In addition, any gaps in current service provision will be identified in order to inform future research and investment priorities. The aim of the project is to help inform the development of the C3S Sectoral Information System.
GERICS, through its contribution to these and other projects, together with the wide range of other activities that it is engaged in, continues to play an instrumental role in the development of the climate services market.
EC 2015, A European research and innovation roadmap for climate services, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
Prof Dr Daniela Jacob
Tel: +49 40 226338406
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