Your location: Home > Methods > Other Methodological Issues

Methods and Tools to Assess Climate Change Impacts and Adaption Options


In addition to addressing the causes of climate change, the Convention calls on Parties to adapt to its adverse effects. At COP 3 (Kyoto, December 1997), Parties requested the secretariat to accelerate the development of methodologies for assessing adaptation technologies, in particular decision tools to evaluate alternative adaptation strategies. This request aimed to assist Parties in applying the best available methods to assess their vulnerability to climate change and their adaptation options.

In response, the secretariat has undertaken a number of activities, including the preparation of an initial compendium of decision tools to evaluate adaptation strategies. Parties, international organizations and others have provided further information on adaptation methods and decision tools, which the secretariat has placed on its web site. Further, the secretariat organized a meeting of experts, in coordination with the IPCC, to explore options to improve the compilation, review and dissemination of information on adaptation methodologies and organized a workshop, with participation of experts from the IPCC and the user community, to explore: the experience of developing countries with adaptation tools and methodologies; the current state of the art methodologies identified in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report and how these apply to the specific circumstances of developing countries; and options for improving the quality and dissemination of information on impact and adaptation methodologies.

At SBSTA 15 (Marrakesh, October/November 2001), Parties gave further consideration to SBSTA’s future work on methodologies to assess climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation based on the UNFCCC/IPCC expert workshop report, submissions from Parties, and information contained in the contribution of IPCC Working Group II to the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report.

The SBSTA adopted conclusions supporting the outcome of the Sainte Adèle workshop and noted that more scientific work should be done in the area of improving and developing methodologies for assessing impacts and adaptation. It noted the linkages between work on methodologies and activities relating to Articles 4.8 and 4.9, non-Annex I national communications, technology transfer and capacity building.

The SBSTA requested the secretariat to consult with other UN bodies and organizations on how to enhance the development and assessment of methods and tools for evaluating impacts and adaptation and to hold an initial workshop before SBSTA 17 to explore the means of supporting the development and dissemination of methods and tools.

Recent developments
The above-mentioned workshop was postponed pending availability of resources. However, at SBSTA 17 (New Delhi, October/November 2002) and SBSTA 18 (Bonn, June 2003) Parties gave further consideration to some aspects of work on methodologies to assess climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation under the agenda item review of methodological work under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. It is anticipated that Parties will further consider this issue at SBSTA 19.
Key Decisions

SBSTA 15 report
Paras. 20-23 more >>

Decision 9/CP.3
Development and transfer of technologies more >>

SBSTA 13 part I report
para. 47 more >>

SBSTA 12 report
para. 43 more >>

Key Documents

Submissions by Parties more >>

Report on the UNFCCC/IPCC workshop on impacts and adaptation methodologies more >>

Information on impacts and adaptation assessment methods. Progress report by the secretariat more >>

more >>
Key Links

Methodologies and tools to evaluate climate change impacts and adaptation more >>