Enhancing the Practical Utility of Risk Assessments in Climate Change Adaptation
2. Materials and Methods
3.1. Comparing Definitions
3.2. Comparing Risk/Vulnerability Assessments/Approaches
3.3. Comparing the Application of Risk/Vulnerability Assessments/Approaches
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to lessen the frequency and severity of future hazards
- Undertaking adaptation measures that reduce exposure (by relocating the building outside the potentially flooded area)
- Undertaking adaptation measures that reduce sensitivity (by making sure that vulnerable groups or activities are not housed in that building)
- Undertaking adaptation measures that increasing adaptive capacity (by installing flood mitigation measures for the building; presence of early warning systems).
Conflicts of Interest
- Denton, F.; Wilbanks, T.J.; Abeysinghe, A.C.; Burton, I.; Gao, Q.; Lemos, M.C.; Warner, K. Climate-resilient pathways: Adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development. In Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability; Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 2014; pp. 1101–1131. [Google Scholar]
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change and Its Impacts. Available online: http://web.unep.org/nairobiconvention/sustainable-development-goal-13-take-urgent-action-combat-climate-change-and-its-impacts (accessed on 20 April 2018).
- Bithas, K.P.; Christofakis, M. Environmentally sustainable cities. Critical review and operational conditions. Sustain. Dev. 2006, 14, 177–189. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Camagni, R.; Capello, R.; Nijkamp, P. Towards sustainable city policy: An economy-environment technology nexus. Ecol. Econ. 1998, 24, 103–118. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Kelman, I.; Gaillard, J.C.; Mercer, J. Climate Change’s Role in Disaster Risk Reduction’s Future: Beyond Vulnerability and Resilience. Int. J. Disaster Risk Sci. 2015, 6, 21–27. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation; A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Field, C.B., Barros, V., Stocker, T.F., Qin, D., Dokken, D.J., Ebi, K.L., Mastrandrea, M.D., Mach, K.J., Plattner, G., Allen, S.K., et al., Eds.; Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 2012. [Google Scholar]
- Pelling, M. Adaptation to Climate Change: From Resilience to Transformation; Routledge: London, UK; New York, NY, USA, 2011. [Google Scholar]
- Aven, T.; Renn, O. An Evaluation of the Treatment of Risk and Uncertainties in the IPCC Reports on Climate Change. Risk Anal. 2015, 35, 701–712. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Meadow, A.M.; Ferguson, D.B.; Guido, Z.; Horangic, A.; Owen, G.; Wall, T. Moving Toward the Deliberate Coproduction of Climate Science Knowledge. Weather Clim. Soc. 2015, 7, 179–191. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Weaver, C.P.; Moss, R.H.; Ebi, K.L.; Gleick, P.H.; Stern, P.C.; Tebaldi, C.; Wilson, R.S.; Arvai, J.L. Reframing Climate Change Assessments Around Risk: Recommendations for the US National Climate Assessment. Environ. Res. Lett. 2017, 12, 80201. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Wilson, E.; Piper, J. Spatial Planning and Climate Change; Taylor & Francis: London, UK, 2010. [Google Scholar]
- Schmidt-Thome, P.; Greiving, S. European Climate Vulnerabilities and Adaptation: A Spatial Planning Perspective; John Wiley & Sons: Chichester, UK, 2010. [Google Scholar]
- Carter, J.G.; Cavan, G.; Connelly, A.; Guy, S.; Handley, J.; Kázmierczak, A. Climate Change and the City: Building Capacity for Urban Adaptation. Progress Plan. 2015, 95, 1–66. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Thywissen, K. Components of Risk: A Comparative Glossary (Studies of the University: Research, Counsel, Education); UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security: Bonn, Germany, 2006. [Google Scholar]
- Wolf, S. Vulnerability and risk: Comparing assessment approaches. Natl. Hazards 2011, 61, 1099–1113. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Jurgilevich, A.; Räsänen, A.; Groundstroem, F.; Juhola, S. A Systematic Review of Dynamics in Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessments. Environ. Res. Lett. 2017, 12, 13002. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructure (RESIN) Project. ‘About RESIN’. Available online: http://www.resin-cities.eu/home/ (accessed on 1 May 2018).
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Houghton, J.T., Ding, Y., Griggs, D.J., Noguer, M., Van der Linden, P.J., Dai, X., Maskell, K., Johnson, C.A., Eds.; Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK; New York, NY, USA, 2001. [Google Scholar]
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Annex II: Glossary. In Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Core Writing Team, Pachauri, R.K., Meyer, L.A., Eds.; IPCC: Geneva, Switzerland, 2014; pp. 117–130. [Google Scholar]
- Füssel, H.-M.; Klein, R.J.T. Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: An Evolution of Conceptual Thinking. Clim. Chang. 2006, 75, 301–329. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- O’Brien, K.; Eriksen, S.; Nygaard, L.P.; Schjolden, A. Why Different Interpretations of Vulnerability Matter in Climate Change Discourses. Clim. Policy 2007, 7, 73–88. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Field, C.B., Barros, V.R., Dokken, D.J., Mach, K.J., Mastrandrea, M.D., Bilir, T.E., Chatterjee, M., Ebi, K.L., Estrada, Y.O., Genova, R.C., et al., Eds.; Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK; New York, NY, USA, 2014. [Google Scholar]
- Bassett, T.J.; Fogelman, C. Déjà vu or something new? The Adaptation Concept in the Climate Change Literature. Geoforum 2013, 48, 42–53. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Bankoff, G. Rendering the World Unsafe: ‘Vulnerability’ as Western Discourse. Disasters 2001, 25, 19–35. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Giupponi, C.; Biscaro, C. Vulnerabilities—Bibliometric Analysis and Literature Review of Evolving Concepts. Environ. Res. Lett. 2015, 10, 123002. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- UNISDR. Terminology on Disaster Risk Reduction (No. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction). 2009. Available online: http://www.unisdr.org/we/inform/terminology (accessed on 5 July 2016).
- European Environment Agency (EEA). Urban Adaptation to Climate Change in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities for Cities Together with Supportive National and European Policies (No. 2/2012); European Environment Agency: Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012. [Google Scholar]
- International Organisation for Standardisation (IOS)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Risk Management—Risk Assessment Techniques (IEC 31010); IEC: Geneva, Switzerland, 2009. [Google Scholar]
- European Commission. Commission Staff Working Paper: Risk Assessment and Mapping Guidelines for Disaster Management (No. SEC (2010) 1626); European Commission: Brussels, Belgium, 2010. [Google Scholar]
- Preston, B.L.; Jones, R.N. Screening Climatic and Non-Climatic Risks to Australian Catchments. Geogr. Res. 2008, 46, 258–274. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Lindley, S.J.; Handley, J.F.; Theuray, N.; Peet, E.; McEvoy, D. Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change in the Urban Environment: Assessing Climate Change Related Risk in UK Urban Areas. J. Risk Res. 2006, 9, 543–568. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Birkmann, J.; Cardona, O.D.; Carreño, M.L.; Barbat, A.H.; Pelling, M.; Schneiderbauer, S.; Kienberger, S.; Keiler, M.; Alexander, D.E.; Zeil, P.; et al. Theoretical and Conceptual Framework for the Assessment of Vulnerability to Natural Hazards and Climate Change in Europe: The MOVE Framework. In Assessment of Vulnerability to Natural Hazards; Elsevier: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2014; Chapter 1; pp. 1–19. [Google Scholar]
- Kázmierczak, A.; Handley, J. The Vulnerability Concpet: Use within GRaBS. 2001. Available online: https://nanopdf.com/download/the-vulnerability-concept-use-within-grabs_pdf (accessed on 25 March 2018).
- Räsänen, A.; Juhola, S.; Nygren, A.; Käkönen, M.; Kallio, M.; Monge, A.M.; Kanninen, M. Climate Change, Multiple Stressors and Human Vulnerability: A Systematic Review. Reg. Environ. Chang. 2016, 16, 2291–2302. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- McCord, M.; Rodgers, J.; Davis, P.; Haran, M.; Berchtold, C. SOTA Gaps and Guidance Parameters for all WP’s, INTACT Deliverable D1.1, Project Co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, 2015. Available online: http://www.intact-project.eu/intact/assets/File/wp/D1_1_SOTA_gaps.pdf (accessed on 25 March 2018).
- Fünfgeld, H.; McEvoy, D. Framing Climate Change Adaptation in Policy and Practice. (VCCCAR Project: Framing Adaptation in the Victorian Context No. Working Paper 1). Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research: Melbourne, 2011. Available online: http://www.climateaccess.org/sites/default/files/Funfgeld_Framing%20Climate%20Adaptation%20in%20Policy%20and%20Practice.pdf (accessed on 25 March 2018).
- Tapia, C.; Guerreiro, S.; Mendizabal, M.; Kilsby, C.; Feliu, E.; Glenis, V.; Dawson, R.; Eluwa, C. High Level Quantified Assessment of Key Vulnerabilities and Priority Risks for Urban Areas in the EU (No. D3.1), the RAMSES Project, 2015. Available online: http://www.climateaccess.org/sites/default/files/Funfgeld_Framing%20Climate%20Adaptation%20in%20Policy%20and%20Practice.pdf (accessed on 20 April 2018).
- Brown, C.; Wilby, R.L. An alternate approach to assessing climate risks. Eos Trans. AGU 2012, 93, 401–402. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Dickson, E. Urban Risk Assessments: Understanding Disaster and Climate Risk in Cities; World Bank Publications: Washington, DC, USA, 2012. [Google Scholar]
- Willows, R.; Connell, R. (Eds.) Climate Adaptation: Risk, Uncertainty and Decision-Making; UKCIP Technical Report; UK Climate Impacts Programme: Oxford, UK, 2003. [Google Scholar]
- King, D.; Schrag, D.; Zhou, D.; Ye, Q.; Ghosh, A. Climate Change: A Risk Assessment; Centre for Science and Policy: Cambridge, UK, 2016. [Google Scholar]
- Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change in the Urban Environment (ASSCUE) Project. Project description. Available online: http://climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu/metadata/projects/adaptation-strategies-for-climate-change-in-the-urban-environment (accessed on 1 May 2018).
- ESPON Climate. Climate Change and Territorial Effects on Regions and Local Economies. Final Report. ESPON & IRPUD, TU Dortmund, 2011. Available online: https://www.espon.eu/export/sites/default/Documents/Projects/AppliedResearch/CLIMATE/ESPON_Climate_Final_Report-Part_B-MainReport.pdf (accessed on 25 March 2018).
- European Union (EU) Science Hub. Projection of Economic Impacts of Climate Change in Sectors of the EU based on Bottom-up Analysis (PESETA) II. Available online: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/peseta/reports (accessed on 1 May 2018).
- European Environment Agency (EEA). Urban Vulnerability to Climate Change in Europe—An Interactive Map Book. Available online: http://climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu/knowledge/tools/urban-adaptation/introduction (accessed on 1 May 2018).
- Klijn, F.; Kreibich, H.; de Moel, H.; Penning-Rowsell, E. Adaptive Flood Risk Management Planning Based on a Comprehensive Flood Risk Conceptualisation. Mitig. Adapt. Strateg. Glob. Chang. 2015, 20, 845–864. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
|Term||IPCC pre-AR5 Definition||IPCC AR5 Definition|
|Adaptive Capacity||The ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences.||The ability of people, institutions, organizations, and systems, using available skills, values, beliefs, resources, and opportunities, to address, manage, and overcome adverse conditions in the short to medium term.|
|Exposure||The nature and degree to which a system is exposed to significant climatic variations.||The presence of people, livelihoods, species or ecosystems, environmental services and resources, infrastructure, or economic, social, or cultural assets in places that could be adversely affected.|
|Hazard||No glossary definition||The potential occurrence of a natural or human-induced physical event or trend, or physical impact, that may cause loss of life, injury, or other health impacts, as well as damage and loss to property, infrastructure, livelihoods, service provision, and environmental resources.|
|Risk||No glossary definition||The potential for consequences where something of value is at stake and where the outcome is uncertain, recognizing the diversity of values. Risk is often represented as probability of occurrence of hazardous events or trends multiplied by the impacts if these events or trends occur. Risk results from the interaction of vulnerability, exposure, and hazard.|
|Sensitivity||The degree to which a system or species is affected, either adversely or beneficially, by climate variability or change.||The degree to which a system or species is affected, either adversely or beneficially, by climate variability or change.|
|Vulnerability||Vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude, and rate of climate variation to which a system is exposed, its sensitivity, and its adaptive capacity.||The propensity or predisposition to be adversely affected. Vulnerability encompasses a variety of concepts including sensitivity or susceptibility to harm and lack of capacity to cope and adapt.|
|Impact Assessment||Vulnerability Assessment||Risk Assessment|
|Inputs||Impact assessments require details of weather and climate hazards and the natural and human systems with the potential to be affected.||Sensitivity and adaptive capacity data are needed to undertake a vulnerability assessment, based on the IPCC’s AR5 approach.||The IPCC’s AR5 risk approach focuses on the interaction between hazard, exposure and vulnerability. Data are required on these themes to complete an assessment.|
|Outputs||Potential weather and climate impacts to natural and human systems. Cascading impacts, within and between systems, are significant yet can be difficult to establish due limited data and modeling capacity.||Details of the vulnerability of ‘receptors’ to weather and climate hazards. Data permitting, vulnerability can be mapped spatially.||Identification of weather and climate risks. Data permitting, risk assessment outputs can be mapped spatially.|
|Issues||Impact assessments generally provide no indication of the probability of impacts occurrence. Impact severity, which relates factors including hazard intensity and the vulnerability of the system to the event, is not commonly considered.||Adaptation responses can be developed to reduce vulnerability. However, without details of the probability of, and potential spatial exposure to, hazards, the effectiveness of responses to moderate vulnerability is reduced.||Risk assessments provide a picture of priority risks, in terms of their probability and consequence, enabling available response capacity and resources to be targeted more effectively.|
|Project (Year)||Brief Description||Conceptualization||Spatial Unit||Gaps|
|ASSCUE (2006) ||The ASSCUE project looked at the impacts of climate change on towns and cities in the UK. ASSCUE considered the concept of risk in order to underpin the development of conurbation and neighborhood scale adaptation strategies.||Risk||Urban Morphology Types||Limited comparability—based on UK only and at conurbation and neighborhood scale|
|ESPON (2011) ||ESPON developed a typology of European regions based on their vulnerability to climate change, their adaptive capacity, and the impact that climate change may have on the economy.||Vulnerability||NUTS 3||Limited data availability. Different use of the term exposure. Limited to a typology based on climate and geography; not socio-economic issues (although socio-economic indicators are mapped).|
|PESETA II (2014) ||The JRC PESETA II project (Projection of Economic impacts of climate change in Sectors of the European Union based on bottom-up Analysis) aimed to understand the spatial effects of the biophysical and social impacts of climate change on European regions and also for different sectors.||Vulnerability||NUTS 2||Limited to a focus on climate and economic impacts.|
|EEA Urban Vulnerability Map (2015) ||This EEA‘s map book provides a Europe-wide overview of the potential vulnerability of major European urban areas to climate change by highlighting areas of potential weakness.||Vulnerability||EU-OECD Classification of Cities||Limited set of indicators. Focused on present-day.|
|RAMSES (2016) ||RAMSES developed risk assessment tools using existing data. A top-down, indicator approach identified climate risks for 571 European cities as contained in the Urban Audit.||Risk||EU-OECD Classification of Cities||Limited set of indicators. Limited number of cities.|
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Connelly, A.; Carter, J.; Handley, J.; Hincks, S. Enhancing the Practical Utility of Risk Assessments in Climate Change Adaptation. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1399. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051399
Connelly A, Carter J, Handley J, Hincks S. Enhancing the Practical Utility of Risk Assessments in Climate Change Adaptation. Sustainability. 2018; 10(5):1399. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051399Chicago/Turabian Style
Connelly, Angela, Jeremy Carter, John Handley, and Stephen Hincks. 2018. "Enhancing the Practical Utility of Risk Assessments in Climate Change Adaptation" Sustainability 10, no. 5: 1399. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051399