This module is designed to assess the severity of climate-related risks and determine the tolerance for subjective risks. The goal is to provide information to Climate Risk Management (CRM) and adaptation decision makers about urgent actions needed to address critical risks.
In step one, you will assess the severity of key risks. The severity of a risk is influenced by its temporal characteristics, the ability to respond to the risk, and the importance of the system at risk. Risks that occur sooner or increase rapidly are more challenging to adapt to, while persistent risks may pose higher threats. The severity of a risk is affected by the ability of affected ecosystems and societies to reduce hazards, exposure, vulnerabilities, and to cope with consequences.
The importance of a system may depend on how many other systems depend on it, with essential systems, such as food security or human health, receiving higher importance.
The Climate Risk Assessment (CRA) helps expert users identify potential severe risks by considering timing, exposure /vulnerability, and ability to respond. This is done through expert elicitation using quantitative and qualitative data from the Risk Analysis module and knowledge on current adaptation capacities and deficits from the module Towards Adaptation.
In step two, you have to understand the subjective risk preference and/or tolerance with the help of risk layering. This step involves addressing the fact that public risk perception varies on temporal and spatial scales and is strongly influenced by several factors. We strongly recommend the inclusion of representatives from different gender and marginalised groups in a community-based risk evaluation. Hence this step employs participatory methods to answer the same severity questions as in the first step, but this time involving a representative stakeholder group of the study region, in order to assess the respective community’s risk tolerance regarding specific key risks that may lead to severe impacts.
Acceptable climate-related risks are those for which stakeholders are satisfied with the current situation and do not require additional measures. Tolerable risks are those where stakeholders see a need for additional action but cost and constraints need to be weighed against potential benefits. The outcome of this step is a visualisation of the risk tolerance space, which places the identified risks on a spectrum from acceptable to intolerable for current and future time horizons and levels of global warming.