Title: Assessing the risk of loss and damage: exposure, vulnerability and risk to climate-related hazards for different country classifications
Authors: Joern Birkmann; Torsten Welle
Addresses: Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University, UN Campus Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany ' Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University, UN Campus Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Abstract: Preventing and reducing loss and damage due to extreme events is an important topic for the international community, especially in the context of climate change negotiations and disaster risk reduction. The paper outlines the latest state-of-the-art approaches to assess loss and damage and the risk of loss and damage. Against this background, a more in-depth analysis is provided on how to assess the risk of loss and damage in different country groups (i.e., World Bank income groups) focusing on selected slow- and sudden-onset climate-related hazards using the concept of the WorldRiskIndex. The results underscore that the risks of loss and damage for low- and high-income countries are significantly different, but also that global risk patterns differ significantly regarding sudden-onset versus slow-onset hazards. In the first step of analysis, the results show that not only does exposure to extreme events influence the risk of loss and damage, but equally important are the vulnerability and adaptive capacities of societies. The second step of analysis shows that target-oriented adaptive strategies to the various impacts of climate-related hazards are crucial in reducing the respective risk of loss and damage.
Keywords: loss and damage; risk assessment; exposure; vulnerability; climate change; extreme events; disaster risk reduction; natural disasters; sudden onset hazards; slow onset hazards; adaptive capacities; adaptation.
International Journal of Global Warming, 2015 Vol.8 No.2, pp.191 - 212
Received: 08 May 2013
Accepted: 17 Apr 2014
Published online: 25 Sep 2015 *