Flagship Project


Climate change mitigation and adaptation in the UK food system


A Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI) project focusing initially on the wheat and bread supply chain whilst developing the quantitative tools and qualitative methods required for producing contrasting future scenarios in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and broader food consumption. Once developed, the scenario tool will be applied to beef and dairy products.

Project objectives

The project aimed to:-

  • Develop new tools and methods for quantifying the static and dynamic influence of consumers on greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Explore how the provision of some core consumer foods potentially needs to adapt to climate change impacts and how retailers can prepare and respond to changes;
  • Investigate mitigation strategies by considering emission hotspots', adaptation impacts and a range of climate change targets.

Work Packages

The programme of research comprised five discrete work packages each with specific and well defined deliverables:-

  • WP1: Spatial scenarios of future climate. WP1 will produce future climate scenarios for three key weather variables where changes in average characteristics can impact on the operational resilience of the network and changes in extremes can impact the infrastructural resilience of the network: temperature, rainfall and wind.
  • WP2: Electricity demand and supply scenarios. WP2 will develop electricity demand and supply scenarios, consistent both with the climate change impacts scenarios from WP1 and levels of decarbonisation required to meet policy targets.
  • WP3: Network performance analysis. WP3 will couple the hazard model from WP1 with demand and supply scenarios from WP2 with a dynamic, spatially explicit, power systems simulation model.
  • WP4: Quantified analysis of resilience and the effectiveness of adaptation. WP4 will use the model to quantify the potential impacts of future climate upon the day to day resilience and resilience to extreme events of the overall GB electricity transmission system and case study distribution networks, and to test the effectiveness of a wide range of adaptation options for improving the overall resilience of the energy system.
  • WP5: Social responses to adaptation measures. WP5 will assess the impact of the future vulnerability of the network upon organisations and households, taking into account climate change impacts, and consider how these may adapt.


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