Dr. Luis Costa

Senior Scientist

I'm an engineer turned researcher interested in the topics of climate impacts and energy transitions - particularly in cities and territories. My climate-impact-related work expands over a wide range of topics such as damages from sea-level rise in cities, and the evolution of heat tolerance in urban areas. On the energy side, I was the CSP (chief scientific plumber) of the EUCalc model and developed research on sustainable lifestyles. Currently, I'm managing the science behind de LOCALISED project and a keen partner in the EUCityCalculator.


Working Group


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2527
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


I'm interested in the topics of adaptation to climate change impacts and promoting the energy transition in cities. Capacity and knowledge transfer via the provision of climate services to stakeholders has also been a recurrent topic of research.


Luís Costa, Vincent Moreau, Boris Thurm, Wusheng Yu, Francesco Clora, Gino Baudry, Hannes Warmuth, Bernd Hezel, Tobias Seydewitz, Ana Ranković, Garret Kelly,  Jürgen P. Kropp (2021) The decarbonisation of Europe powered by lifestyle changes, Environmental Research Letters, 16, 044057.

Krummenauer, L., Costa, L., Prahl, B. F., & Kropp, J. P. (2021). Future heat adaptation and exposure among urban populations and why a prospering economy alone won’t save us. Scientific reports11(1), 1-14.

Ambrósio, G., Da Cunha, D. A., Pires, M. V., Costa, L., Faria, R. M., & Gurgel, A. C. (2021). Human Development, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sub-National Mitigation Burdens: A Brazilian Perspective. Discover Sustainability volume 2, Article number: 35 (2021).

Francesco Clora, Gino Baudry, Luis Costa and Wusheng Yu. (2021). Dietary transitions as climate mitigation measures in Europe: implications of supply-side responses and trade policy regimes, Environmental Research Letters (second round of revisions).

Magalhães Filho L.N.L., Roebeling P.C., Costa L., de Lima L.T., (2021) Ecosystem services values in risk of flood due to the sea level rise uncertainty and socio-economic development: projections for the Atlantic coastal zone by 2100 (under preparation)


Costa, L., & Moreau, V., The emission benefits of European integration, Environmental Research Letters, 14, 2019.

Krummenauer, L., Prahl, B. F., Costa, L., Holsten, A., Walther, C., Kropp, J. P., Global drivers of minimum mortality temperatures in cities. Science of the total environment, 695, 2019.

Costa, L., Kropp, JP., Estimating investments in knowledge and planning activities for adaptation in developing countries: an empirical approach. Climate and Development, 2019.

Weng, W., Costa, L., Lüdeke, M. K., Zemp, D. C., Aerial river management by smart cross-border reforestation. Land Use Policy, 84, 2019.

Prahl BF, Boettle M, Costa L, Kropp JP, Rybski D. Damage and protection cost curves for coastal floods within the 600 largest European cities. Scientific data, 2018 .

Pradhan, P., Costa, L., Rybski, D., Lucht, W., Kropp, J. P. A systematic study of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) interactions. Earth's Future, 5(11), 2017.

Costa, L., Kropp J.P., Linking components of vulnerability in theoretic frameworks and case studies. Sustainability Sciences. 2011.

Costa, L., Thonicke K., Poulter B., Badeck F. Sensitivity of Portuguese forest fires to climatic, human and landscape factors: Sub-national differences between extreme fire years and decadal averages. Regional Environmental Change, 2010.

Holsten A., Dominic A.R., Costa, L., Kropp J.P., Evaluation of the Performance of Meteorological Forest Fire Indices for German Federal States, Forest Ecology and Management, 2013.

Costa L, Hildén M, Kropp J, Böttcher K, Fronzek S, Swart R, Otto J, McCormick N, Radojevic M, Lückenkötter J, Keup-Thiel E. Assessing climate impact indicators: Evaluation criteria and observed strengths and weaknesses. Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 41, 2016

Roebeling P. C., Costa, L., Magalhães-Filho L., Tekken V., Ecosystem service value losses from coastal erosion in Europe: historical trends and future projections. Journal of Coastal Conservation. 2013.

Costa, L., Kropp J.P., Harmeling, S., Assessing the costs of adaption to climate change in developing countries, Umweltbundesamt, Germany, February, 2014.

Costa, L., V. Tekken and J. Kropp, Threat of sea-level rise: Costs and benefits of adaptation in the European Union Coastal Countries, Journal of Coastal Research, 2009.

Costa, L., Rybski, D., Kropp J.P., A human development framework for CO2 reductions, PLoS ONE 6/12, 2011.

Thomas Hickler, Katrin Vohland, Paul A. Miller, Benjamin Smith, Luis Costa, Jane Feehan, Thomas Giesecke, Stefan Fronzek, Timothy R. Carter, Wolfgang Cramer, Ingolf Kühn, Martin T. Sykes, Projecting the future distribution of European potential vegetation zones with a generalized, tree-species based dynamic vegetation model, Global Change Biology, 2012.

Tekken, V., Costa, L.. and Kropp, J.P., Increasing pressure, declining water and climate change in north-eastern Morocco. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 2013.


EUCityCalc   Prospective modelling tool supporting public authorities in reaching climate neutrality, H2020 (2021-2024).

LOCALIZED   Localised decarbonisation pathways for citizens, local administrations and businesses to inform and support mitigation and adaptation action, H2020 (2021-2025).


EUCalc   Trade-offs and Pathways towards Sustainable and Low-carbon European Societies, H2020 (2016-2019). 

  • Coordination of the scientific work across multiple sectoral teams.
  • Development of a new open source economy-energy model for Europe (EUCalc).
  • Presentation and communication of the model.  

CLIPC  Climate Information Portal for Copernicus, FP7-SPACE (2013-2016).

  • Coordination of the team documenting and calculating climate impact indicators.
  • Development of new impact indicators making use of damage functions.
  • Delivery of INSPIRE-compliant metadata.

ADAPTCOST   Assessing the costs of adaptation to climate change in developing countries, German Environment Agency (2012-2014).

  •  Development of an analytical framework to calculate the costs of adaptation in developing countries.
  • Analysis of country-based institutional indicators related to climate action.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of selected adaptation measures.

CI:GRASP and CIGRASP2 – Climate Impacts: Global and Regional Adaptation Support Platform, Federal Ministry of Environment (BMBF, Germany).

  • Evaluation and tracking of climate change adaptation projects in 32 developing countries.
  • Web-development of an online database of projects.
  • Climate-adaptation mainstreaming.
  • Evaluating the loss of wetland from anthropogenic sea-level rise. 

BaltCICA Project - Climate Change: Impacts, Costs and Adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region (Funded by FP7-ENVIRONMENT).

  • Evaluation of coastal ecosystem services lost due to sea-level rise in the Baltic Region.
  • Projection of sea-level rise and flooding due to climate change in Kalundborg (Denmark).
  • Use of GIS and modelling software like ArcGIS, Qgis and R.

ENSURE – Enhancing the Resilience of Communities and Natural and Na-Tech Hazards, FP7-ENVIRONMENT (2007-2010).

  • Evaluation of Portugal’s forest ecosystem vulnerability to climate change.
  • Statistical analysis of forest burning recurrence.
  • Valuation of ecosystems services loss by fires.

ALARM – Assessing Large Risks for Biodiversity with Tested Methods, FP6-GOCE-CT (2007).

  • Harmonizing elevation data on field sites.
  • Assessment of the severity of vegetation changes in the Natura2000 network.
  • Production of maps for the Atlas of Biodiversity Risk (pensoft).