Barriers and enablers to the use of seasonal climate forecasts amongst organisations in Europe

Produced as part of the Managing climate risks and uncertainties and strengthening climate services CCCEP research programme theme

Seasonal climate forecasts (SCF) provide information about future climate variability that has the potential to benefit organisations and their decision-making. However, the production and availability of SCF does not guarantee its use in decision-making per se as a range of factors and conditions influence its use in different decision-making contexts. The aim of this paper is to identify the barriers and enablers to the use of SCF across organisations in Europe. To achieve that, we conducted 75 in-depth interviews with organisations working across eight sectors (including energy, transport, water and agriculture) and 16 countries.The majority of the organisations interviewed do not currently use SCF. This was due to the low reliability and skill of SCF in Europe but also with other non-technical aspects such as the lack of relevance and awareness of SCF in the organisations. Conversely, the main enabler to the use of SCF was the interactions with the providers of SCF. In addition, the level of organisational resources, capacity and expertise were also significant enablers to the use of SCF in organisations. This paper provides the first empirical assessment of the use of SCF in Europe. Such insights provide not only an overview of the existing barriers and enablers to the use of SCF in Europe and how these can be overcome and negotiated to enhance the usability of SCF; but can also help inform the broader and emerging context of climate services development in Europe.