Climate Risk Assessment under Uncertainty: An Application to Main European Coastal Cities
Luis M. Abadie, Elisa Sainz de Murieta* and Ibon Galarraga
Basque Centre for Climate Change, Leioa, Spain
This paper analyses the risk of extreme coastal events in major European coastal cities using a stochastic diffusion model that is calibrated with the worst case emission scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), i.e., the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5. The model incorporates uncertainty in the sea-level rise (SLR) distribution. Expected mean annual losses are calculated for 19 European coastal cities, together with two risk measures: the Value at Risk (VaR) and the Expected Shortfall (ES). Both measures are well-known in financial economics and enable us to calculate the impact of the worst SLR paths under uncertainty. The results presented here can serve as valuable inputs for cities in deciding how much risk they are willing to accept, and consequently how much adaptation they need depending on the risk aversion of their decision-makers.
Understanding risks in the light of uncertainty: low-probability, high-impact coastal events in cities
Luis Maria Abadie, Ibon Galarraga1 and Elisa Sainz de Murieta
Published 17 January 2017
© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd
A quantification of present and future mean annual losses due to extreme coastal events can be crucial for adequate decision making on adaptation to climate change in coastal areas around the globe. However, this approach is limited when uncertainty needs to be accounted for. In this paper, we assess coastal flood risk from sea-level rise and extreme events in 120 major cities around the world using an alternative stochastic approach that accounts for uncertainty. Probability distributions of future relative (local) sea-level rise have been used for each city, under three IPPC emission scenarios, RCP 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5. The approach allows a continuous stochastic function to be built to assess yearly evolution of damages from 2030 to 2100. Additionally, we present two risk measures that put low-probability, high-damage events in the spotlight: the Value at Risk (VaR) and the Expected Shortfall (ES), which enable the damages to be estimated when a certain risk level is exceeded. This level of acceptable risk can be defined involving different stakeholders to guide progressive adaptation strategies. The method presented here is new in the field of economics of adaptation and offers a much broader picture of the challenges related to dealing with climate impacts. Furthermore, it can be applied to assess not only adaptation needs but also to put adaptation into a timeframe in each city.
Options for certification
Certification is the independent quality assessment of a product, service or person. The resulting certificate demonstrates compliance with predefined standards. In addition to standardisation, certification is seen as a way to stimulate the uptake of technologies or practices that improve the climate resilience of European cities. In urban climate adaptation only few standards exist, and certification examples are thus scarce. With regard to product certification, it seems that products with a high complexity, with many factors influencing performance (such as green roofs) or products that are able to prevent a lot of damage if properly manufactured (such as flood barriers), are the first for which standards have been developed and certification schemes have been introduced. With the expected increase of climate change impacts and possible damages, certification may spread to more product categories.
Knowledge transfer workshops
Two Knowledge transfer Workshops (KtW) were organized. The first KtW was hosted by the core city of Bratislava from 12-13th June 2017 and included the tier-2 cities that were paired with Bratislava and Manchester, whereas the second knowledge transfer workshop was hosted by the core city of Paris on the 18-19th October 2017 and included the tier-2 cities assigned to Paris and Bilbao. The purpose of these workshops was twofold. On the one hand, the workshops facilitated the peer-to-peer exchange between the RESIN project tier-1 (core) and tier-2 cities, and on the other, they introduced the RESIN Project Consortium and tools to the tier-2 cities with a particular focus on the IVAVIA tool, the Adaptation Options Library and the E-Guide. The workshops were organized in such a way so as to maximize interaction and "hands-on" training.
The e-Guide’s main role is to guide the users through the process of generating an effective adaptation plan and provide (access to) supporting tools for this process.
In order to achieve these goals, the e-Guide is composed of several modules, each providing added value to the users in different areas of learning and executing an adaptation plan. The first version of the e-Guide provides all of the modules in a functional form, albeit lacking some of the user experience (UX) features. This allows the testing users to see and understand the extent of the functionalities that will be provided in the final version, once the content is updated and the non-essential features implemented. The aforementioned modules can be grouped into three main categories: Static Pages (SP), Decision Support Centre (DSC) and Learning Centre (LC).
Coping with complexity, handling uncertainty
In their endeavours to increase the climate resilience of cities, urban administrators, planners and decision makers have to deal with considerable uncertainty and complexity. This report aims to break down complexity and uncertainty into understandable definitions and aspects. By doing this, it accommodates the process of dealing with uncertainty and complexity in the RESIN project and linking useful methods and instruments to tackle complexity and uncertainty related challenges that arise in the context of adapting and building urban resilience to climate change. This report should be seen as the starting point of addressing the issues of uncertainty and complexity in the RESIN project. It provides city planners in general with an overview of methods and tools they can use to handle complexity and uncertainty, such as scenario planning, adaptive pathway design and adaptive governance. Methods and instruments to address uncertainty and complexity will be part of discussion and application within the RESIN cities. During the course of the RESIN project the user experiences and elaborated user guidelines will be included in the RESIN e-Guide..
FRAMEWORK FOR ADAPTATION PLANNING PROCESS
This report elaborates on the development approach and expected outline, use and form of the framework in which the decision support tooling will be presented to the end-users. To this end, a framework is developed in which all supportive elements to the end users can be placed, and presented. Eventually, in this framework, the supportive tools, methods and other structures will be referenced; this includes the results from other RESIN WP’s and external sources. Finally, an outline of a work plan is presented to develop and operationalise the framework, in close collaboration with the RESIN city partners.
RESIN CITY ASSESSMENT REPORTS
This report, which gathers the cities assessment reports of all four RESIN cities of Bilbao, Bratislava, Greater Manchester and Paris, will allow the RESIN cities and project partners to gain an overview over which adaptation and critical infrastructure protection (CIP) strategies, plans and measures are already in place or planned.
This report describes the general approach of the RESIN project to support the vulnerability analysis (VA) of urban areas and their critical infrastructures regarding the impacts of climate change (CC). IVAVIA is about how to structure and conduct the process of vulnerability assessment. That is, IVAVIA is a set of methods or practices for conducting the VA process.
RESIN CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
The RCF underpins RESIN by establishing a context for the project and clarifying the key concepts, and the relationships between them, that the project is developed around.
This document outlines the definitions for various terms that will be employed throughout the RESIN project. The definitions stem directly from RESIN’s State of the Art reports (Deliverable 1.1) with some minor modifications to harmonize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) definitions outlined in their most recent assessment report (AR5) (IPCC 2014). This deliverable is strongly linked to the RESIN Conceptual Framework (Deliverable 1.3).
RESIN STATE OF THE ART REPORTS
These reports aim to review the state of knowledge and scientific discourse in topics relevant for the RESIN programme of work.
RESIN ACTOR ANALYSIS FOR URBAN CLIMATE ADAPTATION
Methods and Tools in support of Stakeholder Analysis and Involvement
This report presents an overview of methods and tools in support of a stakeholder analysis for the various steps and stages of preparing for and developing and implementing climate adaptation strategies.
RESIN LIBRARY STRUCTURE ONLINE
Adaptation options database model
This study aims to develop a library or catalogue of standardised adaptation options.
This document provides an overview of the RESIN website and lays out the logic behind the design and the features that can be supported following future updates.