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Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments Hands-On Training Workshop. Developing Baseline Socioeconomic Scenarios for Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment. What are baseline socioeconomic scenarios? Four steps for developing socioeconomic scenarios Structured examples.

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vulnerability and adaptation assessments hands on training workshop

Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments Hands-On Training Workshop

Developing Baseline Socioeconomic Scenarios for Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment

What are baseline socioeconomic scenarios?

Four steps for developing socioeconomic scenarios

Structured examples

a note before we begin
It can be very complicated to create detailed and comprehensive socioeconomic and environmental scenarios

There may be greater uncertainties about future socioeconomic conditions than about climate change

Try not to get bogged down in this exercise

The best thing to get out of this is identification of variables that can substantially affect vulnerability to climate change

A Note Before We Begin
what are baseline socioeconomic scenarios
Baseline scenarios estimate changes in socioeconomic and environmental conditions absent climate change

Socioeconomic conditions determine key aspects of vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate changes

Object is to construct plausible reference points to understand how vulnerability may change

It is not to predict future socioeconomic conditions

What Are BaselineSocioeconomic Scenarios?
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general approach
Step 1: Analyze vulnerability of current socioeconomic and natural conditions to future climate change

Step 2: Identify at least one key indicator for each sector being assessed

Step 3: Use or develop a baseline scenario approximately 25 years into the future

Step 4: Use or develop a baseline scenario 50 to 100 years into the future

General Approach
step 1 analyze vulnerability of current conditions to climate change
Most straightforward baseline scenario is to use today’s conditions. Why?

Today’s conditions are known

Easier to communicate about today’s conditions than hypothetical future

This is a starting point

Can compare to vulnerabilities with hypothetical scenarios to identify variables which most affect vulnerability

Current conditions will change

Step 1: Analyze Vulnerability of Current Conditions to Climate Change
step 2 identify key sectors and indicators and examine current conditions

Good general proxy for the sector’s health and condition

Is closely related to vulnerability of the sector

More or less of the indicator is correlated with more or less vulnerability in the sector

Enable link to change in larger socioeconomic variables such as population or income to change in sector

Step 2: Identify Key Sectors and Indicators and Examine Current Conditions
examples of indicators

Agriculture sector

Food security

Import and food aid share

Water sector

Water use intensity

Percent of population served by water treatment plants

Examples of Indicators
step 3 develop 25 year baseline scenario
Forecasting socioeconomic conditions beyond ~25 years has much uncertainty

~25 years consistent with many planning horizons

Nothing magic about 25 years; could be a longer or shorter period

Step 3: Develop ~25 Year Baseline Scenario
developing baseline scenarios
Use government or other scenarios if available

Can they be used to estimate how indicator variables have changed?

Can use other countries as analogue

Develop own scenarios

Developing Baseline Scenarios
example of using national planning documents to develop scenarios

Example of Using National Planning Documents to Develop Scenarios

Tunisia’s Economic Development Plan

economic goals identified in tunisia s economic development plan
Increase trade liberalization

Continue privatization of production in competitive sectors

Increase economic growth to 6%

Improve capital and human resources

Annual population growth of 1.6%

Annual per capita income growth of 4.3%

Economic Goals Identified in Tunisia’s Economic Development Plan
tunisian agriculture goals
Increase production (4.3% annual growth) and diversity

Improve food security

Increase export income

Mobilize water resources

Increase storage capacity

Improve efficiency and reuse of water

Tunisian Agriculture Goals
developing a baseline for agriculture
Define relevant analytic timeframe (e.g., 2030)

Annual rates of change for

Crop yield

Arable acreage

Irrigated acreage

Water use intensity (e.g., m3/ha)

Socioeconomics (e.g., population and GDP)

World commodity prices (e.g., from U.S. BLS)

Developing a Baseline for Agriculture
an approach for creating a 25 year baseline scenario 1
Estimate total population and workforce population change

Workforce will be needed to help estimate economic growth

Use UN population projections because they give estimate by age group

Project working age population, e.g., 20 to 65

An Approach for Creating a 25 Year Baseline Scenario: 1
an approach for creating a 25 year baseline scenario 2
Estimate change in labor productivity

Obtain data from national projections

The Handbook includes regional productivity projections from Mini-Cam

Multiply % change in labor productivity by % change in the workforce to estimate change in national income; e.g., if the workforce grows by 3% per year and productivity grows by 1%:

Multiply 1.03  1.01 to get 1.04; 4% rate of economic growth

Multiply, do not add, the percentages. This becomes important over many years

An Approach for Creating a 25 Year Baseline Scenario: 2
an approach for creating a 25 year baseline scenario 3
Relate the change in economic growth (or other variable such as population) to the indicator variable

There may or may not be a direct relationship between economic growth or population and the indicator variable

Judgment may be required

An Approach for Creating a 25 Year Baseline Scenario: 3
step 4 optional develop 50 100 year baseline scenario
Developing a long-term baseline scenario can be desirable if the analysis of vulnerability and adaptation will go out the same length of time

Socioeconomic scenarios developed for such long time periods have very high uncertainty

There is very uncertainty about key variables such as population growth, productivity, technology, tastes

Step 4 (Optional): Develop 50-100 Year Baseline Scenario
an approach for 50 100 year baseline use ipcc sres scenarios
IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) estimates global population, economic activity, and emissions of greenhouse gases out to 2100

Divides world up into very large regions

Some cover more than one continent

An Approach for 50-100 Year Baseline: Use IPCC SRES Scenarios
sres scenarios
IPCC SRES aims for an internally consistent framework and assumptions relating to various factors including:

GHG emissions

Socioeconomic conditions

Climate conditions

Each storyline describes a global paradigm based on:

Prevalent social characteristics and attitudes

Global relationships among economic growth, industrialization, global and regional trade, social attitudes, and environmental conditions

SRES Scenarios
sres scenarios continued
Internal consistency requires that relationships among variables such as emissions, economic activity, and global trade be plausibly maintained:

For example, high population growth rates may not be consistent with high rates of per capita income increases

Storylines are used to estimate patterns and changes in socioeconomic indicators such as:

Population growth

Economic growth and industrialization

Environmental resource use and conditions

SRES Scenarios (continued)
sres scenarios continued1
SRES Scenarios (continued)
  • Four poles along two major axes
    • Economic vs. environment
    • Global vs. regional
  • Combinations of these four poles give rise to four primary storylines
    • A1 – Economic growth and liberal globalization
    • A2 – Economic growth with greater regional focus
    • B1 – Environmentally sensitive with strong global relationships
    • B2 – Environmentally sensitive with highly regional focus
developing country level sres storylines
Storylines should in most cases be consistent with national and regional scale trends, unless there is clear indication that the exposure unit will develop in a manner that runs counter to such trends

Project teams will then need to make projections about how indicators could change in the future under the alternative storylines

Developing Country-Level SRES Storylines
sres storyline data
Scenario data are limited on national and subnational scales

National level, downscaled data are available for population and income projections

With appropriate caveats, downscaled SRES data can be used to examine changes in specified indicators

Qualitative assessment is important

Expert judgment and stakeholder input are especially relevant here

SRES Storyline Data
brief example for a developing country
Example, method, and tables are drawn from Malone et al. (2004)

Numerical example is illustrative of a quantitative approach

Analogous methods may be applied to other indicators

Try not to be mechanical in application

May need to use some imagination

Qualitative and narrative approaches should also be used where appropriate and necessary

Brief Example for a Developing Country
steps for scenario development steps 1 3
Step 1: Use SRES scenarios to develop estimates of population and GDP percentage changes from base year (e.g., 1990).

Step 2: Estimate percentage changes in total food consumption from base year. This is likely to follow population changes, but may be adjusted up or down to reflect anticipated improvements or decreases in overall diet and nutrition.

Step 3: Estimate total cereal needs in thousands of metric tons. WRI (2000) reports, by country, the “average production of cereals” and the “net cereal imports and food aid as a percent of total cereal consumption.” Together, these two measures can be used to estimate total cereal needs.

Steps for Scenario Development (steps 1-3)
steps for scenario development steps 4 6
Step 4: Estimate import and food aid shares. Food imports begin at 43% for African Country 1 as reported in WRI (2000) for 1995. One way to proceed is to choose a target import share for 2100 that is consistent with the relevant SRES storyline.

Step 5. Estimate in-country production. This estimate is calculated by subtracting from 1 the import share calculated in Step 4. This gives the share of total cereal needs that is met by in-country production. This number is then multiplied by estimated total cereal needs to give the estimated level of agricultural production implied by the scenario.

Step 6. Estimate crop yields and percentage changes. Cereal crop yields are estimated based on required in-country production and assume that planted area is constant.

Steps for Scenario Development (steps 4-6)
Developing century-long scenarios can result in fantastic results

If the analysis does not have to go so far out into future, then only go as far as needed

e.g., 30 or 50 years

Tradeoff with examining longer-term climate change

concluding thoughts
Remember that creating baseline scenarios is not an end in itself

The purpose is to understand how vulnerability can change

Most desirable outcome is to identify variables that can substantially change vulnerability

Examine sensitivity to change in those variables

Concluding Thoughts
concluding thoughts continued
Identifying key variables can be useful for policy making

Don’t get consumed by baseline scenarios

Even a relatively simple comparison of vulnerabilities using no change in socioeconomic conditions and a scenario going out a few decades can provide insights on which variables have a particularly large effect on vulnerability

Concluding Thoughts (continued)