Planning for climate change adaptation requires a shared scientific knowledge base that can be translated into local, practical and actionable knowledge. Through constructive dialogues between a broad array of stakeholders UNCHAIN aims to improve climate change risk assessment frameworks, thereby enhancing informed decision-making and climate change adaptation action.

UNCHAIN will further develop the impact chain concept, first published by Schneiderbauer et al. (2013), to support climate change adaptation capacity building by introducing five methodological innovations:

  1. To develop and test an approach to assess climate change risks that covers both the short-term need for ‘adjusting’ within the current societal framework and the possible need for long-term and large-scale efforts of societal transformation
  2. To refine a structured method of co-production of knowledge and integrate this into impact modelling to better account for different views on desirable and equitable climate resilient futures
  3. To develop and test an applicable framework for analyzing how societal change can affect local climate change vulnerabilities
  4. To develop and test a standardized analytical framework for addressing uncertainties involved in local decision-making on climate change adaptation
  5. To include the trans-national impacts of climate change
  6. To link mitigation and adaptation in climate risk and vulnerability assessments

SEI is leading the work on co-production of knowledge (CPK), where the team will systematically integrate CPK into impact chain modelling to better account for different views on desirable and equitable climate resilient futures. SEI will also support case studies with expertise related to transnational impacts of climate change.

Case studies

At the core of UNCHAIN are 12 case studies that engage with local stakeholders involved in real decision-making processes on how to adapt society to climate change. Through these case studies UNCHAIN will test changes and alterations of the current impact chain model and evaluate its effects. The case studies will also allow the team to take into account multiple ways in which climate change policies influence individual and collective adaptation measures.

For more information on the case studies please refer to the project description below.


UNCHAIN is led by the Western Norway Research Institute (WNRI) and Rambøll, and operates in partnership with the following institutes:

  • Wageningen University & Research (WUR), Netherlands
  • Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftliche Strukturforschung (GWS), Germany
  • Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Spain
  • Paris-Lodron University Salzburg (PLUS), Austria
  • Nordland Research Institute (NRI), Norway
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V. (FhG), Germany
  • Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden
  • Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Strasbourg (INSA) France

UNCHAIN is funded through the EU funding  mechanisms “Joint Programming Initiative” (JPI) and “Assessment of Cross (X)-sectoral climate impacts and pathways for Sustainable transformation” (AXIS).