What are suitable approaches for assessing climate-related (residual) risks?
Climate change is accelerating and in combination with other drivers (i.e. exposure, vulnerability) is increasing the dynamics of risks (i.e. risk is harder to assess with standard approaches). There is first evidence of related impacts breaching physical and social adaptation limits, highlighting the need for tackling ‘residual climate-related risks’. Residual risks being defined as potential negative impacts after all feasible mitigation and adaptation measures have been implemented. Identifying policy solutions for dealing with risks ‘beyond adaptation’ - referred to as Loss and Damage - has recently become the third pillar in the international climate policy process next to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Of particular importance for improving the science-policy interface is the development of comprehensive risk assessment methodologies as well as indicators that inform policy and decision makers about climate-related risks beyond adaptation limits. Moreover, the IPCC’s recent report on 1,5°C global warming has strongly emphasized the role of, and need for, transformational risk management once adaptation limits are being exceeded. The IPCC defines transformation as “deep, systemic change that requires reconfiguration of socio-ecological systems”.
However, praxis-oriented research and evidence remains scarce and existing scientific approaches reach their limits. Especially, with regards to assessing risks beyond adaptation and designing transformational risk management practice and policy. At the INQUIMUS 2021 workshop scientists and practitioners working in different fields will advance in cross-fertilization scientific concepts, methods and tools and to share best practices in different application contexts.
Key questions driving the discussion during the workshop will be:
- What are the needs of decision advisors/makers and from a science perspective for comprehensively assessing and managing compound and systemic climate-related risks that may lead beyond adaptation limits?
- What are the gaps in existing risk assessment methodologies in the context of climate-related risks beyond adaptation limits?
- What are experiences that showcase the spectrum of risk management options from incremental to transformational risk management?
- (How) can existing risk assessment methods and tools be further developed (or need to be dropped) to address these gaps? And/or must risk science transform itself?