A Framework for Complex Climate Change Risk Assessment

Published in: One Earth, Volume 4, Issue 4, pages 489–501 (April 2021). doi: 10.1016/j.oneear.2021.03.005

Posted on RAND.org on April 28, 2021

by Nicholas P. Simpson, Katharine J. Mach, Andrew Constable, Jeremy Hess, Ryan Hogarth, Mark Howden, Judy Lawrence, Robert J. Lempert, Veruska Muccione, Brendan Mackey, et al.

Read More

Access further information on this document at One Earth

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Real-world experience underscores the complexity of interactions among multiple drivers of climate change risk and of how multiple risks compound or cascade. However, a holistic framework for assessing such complex climate change risks has not yet been achieved. Clarity is needed regarding the interactions that generate risk, including the role of adaptation and mitigation responses. In this perspective, we present a framework for three categories of increasingly complex climate change risk that focus on interactions among the multiple drivers of risk, as well as among multiple risks. A significant innovation is recognizing that risks can arise both from potential impacts due to climate change and from responses to climate change. This approach encourages thinking that traverses sectoral and regional boundaries and links physical and socio-economic drivers of risk. Advancing climate change risk assessment in these ways is essential for more informed decision making that reduces negative climate change impacts.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.