2012-2013: OSCAR - Optimal Strategies for Climate change Action in Rural areas (Ref. 071201/2011/609681/SER/CLIMA.A.2)

This project aimed to support the development of more holistic Rural Development Policy (RDP) measures that not only tackle rural issues, but also address climate change objectives (mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the effects of climate change). This was done by developing guidance materials for Member States to support the development of RDP measures that optimally address climate change objectives post-2013.

The approach involved evaluating each current RDP measure using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) coupled with an Adaptive Capacity Impact Assessment, to provide an evaluation in relation to mitigation, adaptation, productivity and practicality. This also involved using GIS techniques to identify Regional Variation Categories across Europe in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the development of marginal abatement cost curves and marginal adaptation cost curves for RDP measures to provide an overview of the costs and benefits of each measure. This information was used to develop an RDP manual and checklist to facilitate the optimisation of national rural development programmes to support the delivery of climate policy objectives.

The project was funded by DG Climate Action within the European Commission and was undertaken in collaboration with Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Poland and Solagro in France.


  • Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D., Green, A. & Lewis, K. (2019). Spatial analysis of the benefits and burdens of Ecological Focus Areas for water-related ecosystem services vulnerable to climate change in Europe. Mitig. Adapt. Strateg. Glob. Change, 24(2): 205-233. DOI.
  • Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D.J., Green, A. & Lewis, K.A. (2017). Spatial and temporal variability of greenhouse gas emissions from rural development land use operations. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 22(3): 447-467. DOI.
  • Warner, D., Tzilivakis, J., Green, A. & Lewis, K. (2017). Prioritising agri-environment options for greenhouse gas mitigation. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 9(1): 104-122. DOI.
  • Warner, D.J., Tzilivakis, J., Green, A. & Lewis, K.A. (2016). Rural Development Program measures on cultivated land in Europe to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions – regional “hotspots” and priority measures. Carbon Management, 7(3-4): 205-219. DOI.
  • Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D., Green, A. & Lewis, K.A. (2015). Adapting to climate change: Assessing the vulnerability of ecosystem services in Europe in the context of rural development. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 20(4): 547-572. DOI.
  • Tzilivakis, J., Lewis, K., Green, A., Warner, D., Fialkiewicz, W., Olearczyk, D., Bordet, C. & Langevin, B. (2013). Optimal Design of Climate Change Policies Through the EU's Rural Development Policy: Final Report to the European Commission. European Commission, Brussels.


Dr John Tzilivakis


  • OSCAR Project Leaflet
  • OSCAR Case Study Leaflet



University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire, 2023.