The project

Co-cli-serv develops and explores novel ways to transform state-of-the-art climate science into action-oriented place-based climate services that can be integrated with social understandings and practices of coping with change at the local scale in Europe, with a regard for climate variability and change in the context of other pressing social and environmental changes. At the core of Co-cli-serv approach lies the potential to identify future information needs and the nature of the climate science that may be needed by local communities. To this end, the project will develop, test and evaluate a suite of concepts, methods and tools for co-constructing climate services in support of local planning and decision-making, such as adaptation to climate and other environmental and societal changes.

Co-cli-serv will establish a collaborative relationship between climate science and local communities in five representative case studies across NW Europe; (i) Bergen in Norway; (ii) Brest and the Golfe du Morbihan in France, Dordrecht and surrounding area in the Netherlands, and communities along the Wadden Sea in Germany. While most climate services initiatives focus on ‘co-producing’ useful information within discrete epistemic communities of experts/policy clients, this project engages a wider spectrum of actors, active in various aspects of local planning and adaptation, from local government, to the tourism industry, to local NGOs and to professional associations. Co-cli-serv will mobilise a transdisciplinary consortium to recognise, engage and empower local communities, knowledge brokers and scientists. This collaboration will be facilitated by innovative approaches and tools, developing and using participatory incremental scenario design to jointly reflect on the role of climate information and climate services in a place.

Over the past decade, coproduction of climate services has emerged as an important theoretical lens and prerequisite for making sense of the complex and messy scientific, social and political processes of turning climate information into useable climate products for local planning and adaptation. Empirical studies to develop and evaluate the required novel modes of coproduction are scarce.

Co-cli-serv responds to the urgent need for the systematic empirical study of practices of climate services. It will move beyond the state of the art, as it has been designed to: (1) engage in theoretical innovation on the coproduction of climate services and (2) contribute to systematic empirical study of practices of climate services as coproduced, structured according to an evaluation framework that reflects processes and frameworks of coproduction. It will do so by rising to the challenge of proactively connecting climate science with local communities, using local narratives as an entry point, and vision planning and adaptive pathways as co-construction locus. These are the overarching goals of the project.

Central in Co-cli-serv's approach is its focus on narratives of change, past, present and future as a localisation device. Grounded in such narratives, vision-based scenarios will be developed, enabling the identification of current AND future knowledge needs. Taking account of existing climate science information and practices, Co-cli-serv will instigate and sustain community dialogues to co-construct place-based climate services. It takes systematic critical reflection on knowledge quality as the central activity in interfacing climate science and local governance. To maximise learning, Co-cli-serv will evaluate and document the processes of multi-source deliberative knowledge production.

The starting point is the localising of knowledge needs and knowledge supply. Localising is a two-way-interaction between science and local communities in specific places (the five case areas of Co-cil-serv). During this interaction, the definitions of ‘local’ and ‘global’ have to be re-negotiated, and the understanding of climate change has to be extended from a scientific concept towards a locally meaningful one. People do not live in an abstract climate; instead, they live in so-called weatherworlds that structure the seasons and the rhythm of life, shape everyday practices, serve as archives for individual and collective memory, and are woven into the dreams of the future. Narratives play a crucial role in connecting private and public realms, as well as scientific and local perceptions of the ‘weatherworlds’ we commonly inhabit. Narratives give meaning to simple facts and scientific calculations. They turn ‘matters of fact’ into ‘matters of concern’. Co-cli-serv will lay the groundwork to systematise the use of narrations to help to transcend the oppositions of science and local knowledge, of nature and culture, of global and local – this to develop climate services.

Vision-based scenarios are required to arrive at common framings of the climate and other changes affecting a place, and to identify the most credible, salient and legitimate information to support adaptation and planning. Co-cli-serv will advance scenario-based approaches by employing an incremental and community-led strategy to develop local scenarios, with the local communities’ concerns, aspirations and goals at their root – while integrating these local scenarios with quantitative climate scenarios. Co-construction helps communities face local environmental issues in ways that promote trust-building, empowerment, joint learning (e.g. from and with the each other’s framings), opportunities to develop safe deliberation spaces, and provision of a unique context to identify knowledge gaps. Co-cli-serv's incremental scenario design is explicitly designed to capture key knowledge gaps and translate them into climate information and climate service needs. These methods will be rooted in both local vision development and external environmental factors.

Co-cli-serv takes existing climate science information and practices into account while recognising and addressing the difficulties of transferring scientific findings into local practices of sense-making, planning and adaptation. A roadmap will be drawn, outlining needed development and the potential development pathway. Rather than working in an ivory tower, the Co-cli-serv consortium will strive to connect existing practices and available knowledge to the project’s innovative developments. Co-cli-serv will move beyond the state of the art by evaluating components of local climate services against stakeholder needs and associating them with other (non-scientific) knowledge claims. The potential and limits of local climate services will be identified.

Instigating and sustaining community dialogue with climate services is essential for making these more meaningful in a place, particularly where narratives form the entry point for co-construction. Artists are ideally placed to challenge existing narratives and to provoke the exploration of novel narratives. The intermeshing of nature and culture, emotions and reason around weatherscapes implies that approaching local climate through science must be put into perspective by a more intuitive approach that seeks to represent the world as perceived by the senses. Such an approach has been achieved by including the arts in social dynamics together with scientific research and innovation. Co-cli-serv will experiment with various art forms during the co-construction process, to explore the modes through which art forms may be mobilised in a joint enquiry dynamic. Co-cli-serv will move beyond the state of the art by (1) applying art and science approaches to culturally relevant climate co-construction process (2) contributing to progressive construction of experiments in art–science–policy integration geared at enabling action to combat climate change and in support of climate change adaptation.

In exploring new modes of co-constructing climate services, Co-cli-serv further looks at corresponding criteria for assessing knowledge quality, using a checklist-based guidance approach. Within a transdisciplinary co-construction collective, each member of the community has a responsibility to contribute their own knowledge and to appraise the quality of the knowledge provided by others. This process of extended peer review evolves through dialogue, with quality appraisal structured by formal criteria or tools agreed on within the community. These criteria of quality extend beyond narrow criteria of single scientific disciplines to encompass broader notions of what constitutes quality knowledge, including its fitness for purpose, the people producing it, the process used to produce it, and the final knowledge product. This permits Co-cli-serv concepts and tools to be evaluated according to appropriate measures, so that a statement can be made about their value in the case studies and their transferability to other settings. Within Co-cli-serv, particular attention will be given to uncertainties, their treatment and their shared understanding. Co-cli-serv will move beyond the state of the art by enabling and promoting systematic critical reflection on knowledge quality as central activity in interfacing climate science and local governance through the co-creation of place-based climate services.

Work package(WP) list:

WP number

Work package title

Main content


Total effort (PM)

WP leader

Participating partners


Narratives of change

Empirical research (collecting narratives of changing local weather conditions); collaborative research (co-production of narratives of desired futures)





Scenario design & development

Incremental participatory scenario methods & tools, scenario case studies






Local climate information in context

Assessment and evaluation



CNRS, IASB-BIRA,  Copernicus-




Innovative science communication, art and science integration, metadata, geo-referencing






Knowledge quality assessment

Knowledge quality assessment, Guidance





Coordination and dissemination

Curriculum development, management, outreach