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Assessment of Vulnerability

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Title: Assessment of Vulnerability


1
  • Assessment of Vulnerability
  • to Climate Change
  • and Human Rights

Presentation by Renate Christ, Secretary of the
IPCC Geneva, 22 October 2008
2
A Progression of Understanding Greater and
Greater Certainty in Attribution to Human
Influence
FAR (1990) unequivocal detection not likely for
a decade SAR (1995) balance of evidence
suggests discernible human influence TAR (2001)
most of the warming of the past 50 years is
likely (odds 2 out of 3) due to human
activities AR4 (2007) most of the warming is
very likely (odds 9 out of 10) due to
anthropogenic greenhouse gases
IPCC
3
Distribution of regional per capita GHG
emissions in 2004
IPCC
4
Surface Warming Pattern A1B, 2090-2099 relative
to 1980-1999
IPCC
5
Crop responses depend on latitude
High latitude - production increases with
1-3C rise in local mean temperature
- decreases above 1-3C
rise.
  • Low latitude
  • Production decreases with 1-2C rise in
  • local mean temperatures
  • Increased drought/flood frequency affect
  • especially subsistence sectors at low latitudes

IPCC
6
Impacts on crops and lifestock
7
Projected impacts on water resources
By mid-century river runoff and water
availability - increase by 10-40 at high
latitudes, some wet tropics -
decrease by 10-30 over dry mid-latitudes and dry
tropics
Drought-affected areas will likely increase
in extent. More heavy precipitation events
will augment flood risk.
In the course of the century, water supplies
stored in glaciers and snow cover are
projected to decline, reducing water
availability in regions where more than one-sixth
of the world population currently lives.
IPCC
8
Climate change could impede nations abilities to
achieve sustainable development
9
Human settlements and low-lying areas
- Risks associated with extreme events - High
vulnerability in riverine and coastal areas -
Urbanization often in high risk areas

- Millions of people could experience more
coastal flooding if ? T gt 2oC in this century. -
Impacts exacerbated by storms, coral
bleaching, degradation of coastal wetlands
and increased human-induced pressures Sea level
rise is inevitable !
IPCC
10
Megadeltas particularly vulnerable
11
The health status of millions of people is
projected to be affected
  • Increases in malnutrition
  • Increased deaths, diseases and injury due to
    extreme weather events
  • Increased burden of diarrhoeal diseases
  • Increased frequency of cardio-respiratory
    diseases due to changes in air quality
  • Altered spatial distribution of
  • some infectious diseases.

IPCC
12
Distribution of Impacts
- Sharp differences across regions -
Low-latitude and less-developed areas
generally face greater risk
  • Those in weakest economic position are often
  • the most vulnerable to climate change
  • Greater vulnerability of specific groups such as
  • poor and elderly - also in developed
    countries

Multiple non-climate stresses increase
vulnerability
IPCC
13
Analytical Tools
  • Scenario driven impacts analysis
  • Provides broad overview
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Broadened to include social vulnerability
  • Adaptation based approach
  • Examine adaptive capacity and improve resilience
  • Key vulnerabilities long term goal Art.2 UNFCCC
  • Magnitude, timing, persistence and reversibility,
    likelihood of occurrence, potential for
    adaptation, distribution of impacts and
    importance of system at risk

14
Risk-management framework
  • Risk - defined by magnitude and
    probability of occurrence
  • Captures
  • uncertainty
  • exposure
  • sensitivity
  • adaptation

15
Risk-management framework
  • Assignment of probabilities to specific key
    impacts can be very difficult
  • Mitigation reduces risks, delay in action
    increases risks
  • Adaptation reduces risk of negative impacts
  • More difficult to adapt to larger magnitudes and
    faster rates of warming
  • Some impacts cannot be avoided sea level rise,
    loss of species
  • Climate change in context of socio-economic
    baseline

16
Vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation
17
GHG Stabilization and Temperature
The lower the stabilization, the earlier global
GHG should go down
IPCC
18
Impacts by sector
19
Way forward
  • Identify vulnerable areas and communities
  • Identify driving forces that enhance or reduce
    vulnerability
  • Develop adaptation plans bottom up and top
    down, use local coping capacity
  • Analysis of synergies and trade-offs of
    adaptation and mitigation measures on case by
    case basis
  • Food prices, degradation of natural habitat,
    employment,
  • Assessment of attribution of damages and of
    avoided damages
  • Address question of insurance

20
Nobel Peace Prize 2007
  • IPCC together with Mr Gore
  •  for their efforts to build up and disseminate
    greater knowledge about man-made climate change,
    and to lay the foundations for the measures that
    are needed to counteract such change"
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