Dr. Luis Costa


I'm an engineer turned researcher interested in the topics of climate impacts and adaptation across territories and also on the elaboration of models that help decision makers test the impact of their decarbonization plans - in particular considering the effect of changing lifestyles.

My climate-impact-related work expands through a wide range of topics such as the evaluation damages from sea-level rise in cities, the investigation of heat-mortality relationships in urban areas or estimating investments required for adaptation.

Regarding my work on decarbonization, I was the chief scientific plumber of the EUCalc model - a no-frills energy model that can be used by everyone .


Working Group


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


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.

EU Calculator: Trade-offs and Pathways towards Sustainable and Low-carbon European Societies financed by the EU Commission.

- 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.
- Monitoring and reporting.

CLIPC – Climate Information Portal for Copernicus (Funded by FP7-SPACE).

- Proposal preparation of technical part for the impact indicator assessment.
- 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.
- Organization of workshops on discussing the strengths and weaknesses of impact indicators is several research institutions, E.g., European Environmental Agency in 2014 and University of Dortmund in 2015.
- Representation of CLIPC work at scientific conferences and engagement of new projects through stakeholder consultation and involvement of the private sector.

ADAPTCOST - Assessing the costs of adaptation to climate change in developing countries (Funded by the German Environment Agency (UBA)).

- Development of an analytical framework to calculate the costs of adaptation in developing countries.
- Coordination of a team (3 persons) of researchers.
- 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 (Funded by the 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.
- Regular missions to partner countries (e.g., Mexico, Tunisia and Brazil) for the purposes of 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 and enhanced socio-economic pressure in the Baltic Region.
- Projection of sea-level rise and flooding due to climate change in Kalundborg (Denmark) municipality.
- Use of GIS and modelling software like ArcGIS, Qgis and R.

ENSURE – Enhancing the Resilience of Communities and Natural and Na-Tech Hazards (Funded by FP7-ENVIRONMENT).

- Evaluation of Portugal’s forest ecosystem vulnerability to climate change.
- Statistical analysis of forest burning recurrence.
- Valuation of ecosystems services loss by fires using damage cost avoided, replacement cost, and substitute cost methods

ALARM – Assessing Large Risks for Biodiversity with Tested Methods (Funded by FP6-GOCE-CT-2003-506675).

- Projecting the future distribution of European potential natural vegetation zones with a generalized, tree species-based dynamic vegetation model.
- 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).