Handling climate risks and uncertainties in decision-making
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Handling climate risks and uncertainties in decision-making. Climate Impacts Forecasting for Slopes (CLIFFS) Launch meeting 26 October 2005. Michelle Colley UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) www.ukcip.org.uk. What is UKCIP?.

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Michelle Colley UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) ukcip.uk

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Michelle colley uk climate impacts programme ukcip ukcip uk

Handling climate risks and uncertainties in decision-making

Climate Impacts Forecasting for Slopes (CLIFFS)

Launch meeting

26 October 2005

Michelle Colley

UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP)

www.ukcip.org.uk


What is ukcip

What is UKCIP?

  • The UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) helps organisations assess how they might be affected by climate change, so they can prepare for its impacts

  • Set up 1997; funded by Defra

  • Programme of the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University Centre for the Environment

  • Stakeholder-led research using:

    • Common tools & experience

    • Intelligent access to datasets

    • Guidance & support for studies & partnerships

    • Web access to all tools


Michelle colley uk climate impacts programme ukcip ukcip uk

UKCIP tools


Michelle colley uk climate impacts programme ukcip ukcip uk

Handling climate risks and uncertainties in decision-making

  • Range of greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, climate models & scenarios – unknown probabilities

  • Natural climate variability too

  • Uncertainty about impacts these climate changes will have on any system

  • Uncertainty about whether adaptation measures will work

  • How can decisions be made?


Michelle colley uk climate impacts programme ukcip ukcip uk

UKCIP/EA decision-making framework

  • Framework describes process for appraisal and management of risks and uncertainties

  • Similar to others used for corporate risk management – recognisable to decision-makers

  • Bringing ‘climate adaptation’ and ‘risk management’ worlds together

  • Enables climate risks to be ‘mainstreamed’ within existing processes


Take a balanced approach to managing climate and non climate risks

Take a balanced approach to managing climate and non-climate risks

1


Define what makes the correct decision

Define what makes the correct decision

  • Need operational criteria for risk assessment and options appraisal

  • Take account of defined thresholds and risk attitude (optimistic, precautionary/risk averse, least regret)

2

(Based on Hewitt & Burton (1971); Smit et al (2000); Jones (2001))


Give appropriate attention to all sources of uncertainty

3

Give appropriate attention to all sources of uncertainty

  • Information on low probability / high consequence events may be most uncertain – but risk assessment may show these are highest risk

  • Identify important climate risk factors – priorities for adaptation

  • Uncertainty in non-climate risks and impact models may be of equal or greater significance than uncertainties over present or future climate hazards

  • Thresholds-based approach may help focus attention on critical uncertainties


Use adaptive management to cope with uncertainty

5

4

Use adaptive managementto cope with uncertainty

  • Put in place incremental adaptation options, rather than undertaking large-scale adaptation in one fell swoop

  • Keep open / increase options that allow climate adaptation in future, when need for adaptation and performance of different measures is less uncertain

  • E.g. Flood management: It may be sensible to allow for future increases in defence height, while not building to a higher standard immediately

  • Circular, iterative framework promotes

    adaptive management


Try to find no or low regret adaptation options

5

4

Try to find no- or low-regretadaptation options

  • ‘No regret’: deliver benefits that exceed their costs, whatever the extent of climate change

  • E.g. If already experiencing weather-related problems, carry out cost-effective actions to deal with them

  • ‘Low regret’: low cost, potentially large benefits under climate change

  • E.g. Building climate change in at the design stage for new drainage system – make pipes wider


Try to find win win options

5

4

Try to find win-win options

  • ‘Win-win’ options contribute to climate adaptation and also to other objectives

  • E.g. Creation of salt-marsh habitat provides flood protection for coastal areas and also contributes to nature conservation objectives


Avoid actions that will make it more difficult to cope with climate risks

6

Avoid actions that will make it more difficult to cope with climate risks

  • Adaptation-constraining decisions make it more difficult for you, or others to manage future climate risks

  • E.g. Inappropriate development in a flood risk area


Michelle colley uk climate impacts programme ukcip ukcip uk

www.ukcip.org.uk


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