Bucks contributes to EU climate change agenda

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Date: 5th Mar 2018

Buckinghamshire New University is among leaders of a project looking into the effect climate change could have on the economies of islands in the European Union.

Soclimpact, a project part of Horizon 2020 which examines how European islands and archipelagos will react to climate change from 2030-2100, has held a three-day meeting to discuss the first steps of the project and actions for the next 36 months.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion (£71 million) of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020) looking at how European islands and archipelagos can flourish economically alongside the EU's Blue Growth strategy for sustainable progress in the marine and maritime sectors.

In turn, it is looking at how economies will grow as decarbonisation develops. The project is focused on the economies of the Baltic islands, Malta, Sardinia, Madeira, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, Corsica, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, West Indies, and the Azores.

The Soclimpact project is led by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and includes universities from Spain, Germany, the West Indies, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Malta.

Florin Ioras, Research Professor of Conservation Sustainability & Innovation, is leading the Bucks New University team alongside Research Fellow Ioan Dutca and Research Associate Dr Indrachapa Bandara.

Prof Ioras said: "Good economic decisions require good data and to get good data European islands must account for all relevant variables. Somehow we're not doing this when it comes to climate change and that means European islands are sometimes making decisions based on a flawed picture of future risks.

“While we can't define future climate-change risks with precision, they should be included in economic policy, fiscal, and business decisions because of their potential magnitude.

“Soclimpact is coming up with ways islands can ensure their economies are in step with changes in climate and ways to make it financially worthwhile for companies, organisations and authorities to go along with these changes.”

To follow all the news and recent developments of the project follow @soclimpact on Twitter.

Main picture caption: The Soclimpact project team, at University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

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