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Climate-related risks and extreme events

 
Promoting understanding of impacts of, and vulnerability to, climate change, current and future climate variability and extreme events, and the implications for sustainable development.

Climate related risks are created by a range of hazards. Some are slow in their onset (such as changes in temperature and precipitation leading to droughts, or agricultural losses), while others happen more suddenly (such as tropical storms and floods). It is now widely recognised that climate-related impacts are not just a future threat. Furthermore, past and current experiences in dealing with climate variability and extreme events, irrespective of attribution to climate change, hold valuable lessons for reducing vulnerability and enhancing resilience for future climate-related adverse impacts.

A strong body of experience in dealing with climate-related risks already exists in the disaster risk reduction community. Also, the global disaster management community, as well as sectoral communities, are increasingly focusing their efforts on building resilience into investments and development. However, gaps in knowledge still exist and, therefore, activities under this area of work are undertaken in line with the objective of promoting understanding of impacts of, and vulnerability to, climate change, current and future climate variability and extreme events, and the implications for sustainable development.

Activities and deliverables under the second phase (2008-2010) include:

  • pdf-icon Technical paper on physical and socio-economic trends in climate-related risks and extreme events in the context of their implications for sustainable development (requested by the SBSTA before its twenty-ninth session, December 2008). The SBSTA suggested that this paper could also provide valuable input into the workshop on risk management and risk reduction strategies to be held during AWG-LCA_4 (December 2008).

Activities and deliverables under the first phase (up to June 2008) included:

  • Submissions from Parties and relevant organizations
  • Workshop to be held before SBSTA 27 
 

Work in the area of climate-related risks and extreme events can contribute to efforts by Parties and organizations to:

 
  1. Enhance knowledge of, and capacity to understand, assess and predict, current and future climate variability, trends in long-term climate change, the occurrence and scale of extreme events, and their impacts;
  2. Enhance capacity to understand vulnerability to, and to use information on, climate change, current and future climate variability and extreme events, and their impacts, including use of this information to analyse these impacts; and capacity to assess climate related risks, impact thresholds, trends, and implications for sustainable development;
  3. Share and use information on, and analysis of, experiences in climate risk assessment and management;
  4. Promote the use of tools and systems for these purposes.
 
 
Details of activities and deliverables under the first phase
Submissions

The SBSTA invited Parties and relevant organizations to submit to the secretariat, by 23 February 2007, information on their relevant programmes, activities and views on the following issues:

  • Experience with assessment and management of current and future climate-related risks and impacts, including those related to extreme events and in specific sectors
  • Ability, gaps, needs, opportunities, barriers and constraints to predicting climate variability, impacts and extreme events across regions and hazards
  • Contribution of traditional knowledge to understanding and managing climate-related risks
  • Implications for sustainable development in relation to the issues above
  • Promoting understanding of impacts of, and vulnerability to, climate change

Submissions were received from twelve Parties and Party groups (Argentina, Australia, India, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United States of America and Uzbekistan as well as from Germany on behalf of the European Community and its Member States and AOSIS). Nine organizations also made submissions (FAO, ISDR, WMO, IFRC, OECD, CARE Canada, Practical Action, German Committee for Disaster Reduction and the Global Fire Monitoring Center). The submissions can be downloaded below.

FCCC/SBSTA/2007/MISC.4 and Add.1 and Add.2
Relevant programmes, activities and views on the issues relating to climate related risks and extreme events. Submissions from Parties

FCCC/SBSTA/2007/MISC.5
Relevant programmes, activities and views on the issues relating to climate related risks and extreme events. Submissions from relevant organizations.

Workshop

The SBSTA requested the secretariat, under the guidance of the Chair of the SBSTA, to organize, before its twenty-seventh session, a workshop with the participation of Parties, experts and relevant organizations and institutions on the issues, information and submissions referred to in the above submissions. It further requested the secretariat to prepare a report on the workshop to be made available to the SBSTA by its twenty-seventh session.

The workshop on climate related risks and extreme events took place in Cairo, Egypt from 18 to 20 June 2007.  The agenda, presentations and results from the workshop are available on the Cairo workshop page

The workshop report is contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/2007/7.

 

 

 

 

Progress on implementation

Workshop on climate-related risks and extreme events Cairo, Egypt, 18-20 June 2007

Call for Action
on climate-related risks and extreme events and on adaptation planning and practices (climate-related risks and extreme events)

pdf-icon Leaflet (966 kB)
on climate-related risks and extreme events

 

Related UNFCCC resources

Synthesis report on Views and information on  the elements to be included in the work programme on loss and damage

Technical paper on Integrating practices, tools and systems for climate risk assessment and management and DRR strategies into national policies and programmes

Technical paper on Mechanisms to manage financial risks from direct impacts of climate change in developing countries

 

Events by Nairobi work programme partners

UNISDR Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, Switzerland, 10-13 May 2011