17 April 2019

Utrecht researchers awarded prestigious grants to study impact of climate change

Three of six Dutch projects selected for ERA-NET Cofund Assessment of cross-sectoral climate Impacts and pathways for Sustainable transformation (AXIS) were awarded to Utrecht University researchers. Transdisciplinary projects led by Machteld van den Broek, Maryse Chappin and Detlef van Vuuren, all from the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development of Utrecht University, will contribute to a better estimation of the impact and risks of climate change.

DIRT-X: Evaluating sediment Delivery Impacts on Reservoirs in changing climaTe and society across scales and sectors

There are currently about 7000 large dams and thousands of smaller dams in Europe providing important but vulnerable services such as hydropower generation, drinking water supply, irrigation, flood protection, and recreation. DIRT-X addresses how the changing climate and socioeconomic conditions influence water reservoirs and the services they provide to different economic sectors.

DIRT-X is led by Machteld van den Broek, who is an assistant professor at the Energy & Resources Group. Her work focuses on the facilitation of the energy transition process from a systems perspective.

MECCA: Targeting mental models of climate change risk to facilitate climate action

Divergence in perceptions limits effective approaches for sustainable development. MECCA aims to identify adaptation and mitigation strategies by analyzing the gap between stakeholder perceptions of change and risk and projected impacts of human activities under changing climatic conditions in East Africa (Lake Victoria) and West Africa (Lagos).

MECCA is led by Maryse Chappin, an assistant professor in the Innovation Studies Group. Her work mainly focuses on gaining a better understanding of the process of eco-innovation.

Assistant Professor

SHAPE: Sustainable development pathways achieving Human well-being while safeguarding the climate And Planet Earth

SHAPE aims to contribute an in-depth analysis of sustainable development pathways (SDPs) that achieve the SDGs in 2030 and maintain sustainable development to reach the Paris climate goals until 2100. It will investigate measures to overcome trade-offs to enable simultaneous achievement of a broad range of sustainable development objectives.

SHAPE is led by Detlef van Vuuren, professor in Integrated Assessment of Global Environmental Change in the Environmental Sciences Group, and senior researcher at PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. At PBL Detlef leads the IMAGE integrated assessment modeling team.

About the AXIS programme

ERA-NET Cofund AXIS aims to promote cross-boundary, cross-community research to improve coherence, integration and robustness of climate impact research and connect it to societal needs. Projects should contribute to a better estimation of the impact and risks of climate change and aim to overcome boundaries between science communities through inter- or transdisciplinary research projects, and between scientists and public and private parties.