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Land use change: assessing the net climate forcing, and options for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Activity Code: ENV.2013.6.1-4
Project Reference: 603542
Coordinator:Karlsruher Institut für Technologie


LUC4C will advance our fundamental knowledge of the climate change - land use change interactions, and develop a framework for the synthesis of complex earth system science into guidelines that are of practical use for policy and societal stakeholders.
Policies in support of climate change mitigation through land management, and the societal demand for other services from terrestrial ecosystems are currently rather disconnected, in spite of the large potential for co-benefits, but also the need for trade-offs. To identify the beneficial and detrimental aspects of alternative land use options, we will improve and evaluate a suite of modelling approaches at different levels of integration and complexity in order to (i) discern key elements of land-use that have the largest effect on climate, including dependencies across time and space, (ii) develop innovative methods to better quantify the dynamic interactions between land use and the climate system at different time and space scales, and (iii) deliver a portfolio of best practice guidelines for the identification of trade-offs, benefits or adverse effects of land-based mitigation policy options across different scenarios. In particular, LUC4C aims to:

  1. enhance our ability to understand the societal and environmental drivers of land use and land cover change (LULCC) relevant to climate change;
  2. assess regional and global effects of different mitigation policies and adaptation measures within alternative socio-economic contexts;
  3. quantify how the LULCC-climate change interplay affects regional vs. global, and biophysical vs. biogeochemical ecosystem-atmosphere exchange, and how the relative magnitude of these interactions varies through time;
  4. advance our ability to represent LULCC in climate models;
  5. assess LULCC-climate effects on multiple land ecosystem services and analyse these in relation to other societal needs that provide either a synergy or trade-off to climate mitigation and adaptation.


  • University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France
  • MET Office, United Kingdom
  • University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Stichting VU-VUMC, Netherlands
  • Potsdam Institut für Klimaforschung, Germany
  • Ministerie van infrastructuur en milieu, Netherlands
  • JRC-Joint research centre – European Commission, Belgium
  • Centro Euro-mediterraneo sui cambiamenti climatici scarl, Italy
  • Federal State educational establishment of higher professional Education, Russia
  • University Cooperation for atmospheric research, United States
  • University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Peking University, China
  • Denkstatt Bulgaria OOD, Bulgaria