CASCADES Climate Risks

Cascading climate risks: towards adaptive and resilient European societies.

The project

Chatham House is working with a consortium of partners to identify how the risks of climate change to countries, economies and peoples beyond Europe might cascade into Europe.

Europe is strongly linked to the rest of the world via trade, value chains, business operations and financial investments, as well as its security, development and diplomatic interests.

However, while direct climate change risks in Europe are relatively well-studied, less is known about how climatic impacts beyond the continent might trigger risk cascades that affect Europe itself.

It remains unclear what effect such cascading risks, and potential responses to them, will have on existing and future challenges facing European societies. These include water and energy scarcity, socio-political tensions, rising inequality, financial instability, conflicts and changing security threats.

Our work

CASCADES is based on state-of-the-art quantitative and qualitative research and stakeholder engagement approaches. The project builds on established climate change impact simulations to develop scenarios and inform a wide range of new models. These models simulate changing trade patterns and supply chains, and acute and chronic geophysical risks to agricultural production and global energy and commodity markets.

The results from these models are combined with tailored macro-financial network modelling, qualitative policy analysis, and strategic policy simulations. These, together with an ambitious programme of stakeholder engagement, enable CASCADES to co-produce actionable knowledge with and for key actors within and beyond Europe.


Funding for the project is provided by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and is led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, with Chatham House as partner.

The consortium

  • Chatham House
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • adelphi
  • Barcelona Center for International Affairs
  • Centre for Systems Solutions, European Centre for Development Policy Management
  • Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change
  • The Finnish Environment Institute
  • Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
  • University of York and the Vienna University of Economics and Business