CAScading Climate risks: towards ADaptive and resilient European Societies

Climate change amplifies existing risks and vulnerabilities in a globalised world. New risks are also emerging from complex cross-sectoral and multi-dimensional interactions that aggregate gradually, and sometimes emerge abruptly. Recent examples of links between crop damage in Russia, international food prices and political instability in North Africa, as well as impact chains from drought, migration, civil unrest and war in the Middle East, demonstrate how climate-induced risks outside Europe can cascade and threaten Europe. The main objective of CASCADES is to analyse the trade, political and financial channels through which climate change impacts outside Europe might cascade into Europe, significantly altering Europe’s risk exposure, over the short, medium and long-term; and to support the design of a coherent European policy framework to address these risks. CASCADES strives to understand the conditions under which climate risks propagate beyond their geographical and temporal location in ways that may affect European stability and cohesion. It does so via a broad 360° risk assessment and deeper thematic analyses of trade, value chain, financial and political connections between Europe and the rest of the world. CASCADES’ ambition is to identify the policy leverage points that can help the EU to adapt and respond to such cascading climate risks. CASCADES integrates a wide range of established and innovative methodologies – many of which have not been seriously applied to adaptation questions before – ranging from biophysical climate impact modelling, economic modelling of trade and financial networks, and data integration methods, to qualitative approaches including hotspot case study analysis original social science research and serious games. CASCADES combines leading expertise in climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, international trade and commodity flows, foreign policy and security, and finance and business, with deep knowledge and proven experience of co-creating with – and influencing – stakeholders from private sectors, public policy and civil society. CASCADES provides knowledge and tools to support policy and decision-making processes, thus helping Europe to strategically navigate a sustainable and resilient path through a rapidly changing, interconnected world.

PIK takes over the overall coordination of the project and is responsible for efficient management to achieve project objectives on time and at high quality by steering partners, ensuring preparation of deliverables, and supporting the periodic reporting to the EU commission. PIK’s team manages the data flow and storage in the project, ensures data exchange between the WPs and all partners as well as promotes collaborative efforts towards the common goals. Furthermore, PIK facilitates data exchange and cooperation with international initiatives such as ISIMIP and represents the project towards external parties. Within WP2 PIK takes over the lead in quantification of direct and indirect natural and human climate impacts inside and outside Europe. Further important contributions of PIK are the risk operationalization within WP3 and a synthesis of cascading climate risks for Europe within the WP6.


Sep 01, 2019 until Dec 31, 2023

Funding Agency

EU, H2020

Funding Call

LC-CLA-03-2018: Climate impacts in Europe b) Global climate impacts from a European perspective


Christopher Reyer

Project Website