Decision-making options for managing risks

09:00 Thursday 30 May




Diana Reckien (Netherlands) 1; Mark New (South Africa) 2; David Viner (South Africa) 3; Annamaria Lammel (France) 4; Reinhard Mechler (Austria) 5; So-Min Cheong (USA) 6

1 - University of Twente; 2 - University of Cape Town; 3 - Mott McDonald; 4 - University of Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint Denis; 5 - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis; 6 - University of Kansas

The Working Group II (WGII) Contribution to the Assessment Reports (AR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will synthesize scientific knowledge on ‘Decision-making options for managing risks’ (AR6, WG II, chapter 17)„ one of the three truly interdisciplinary chapters together with ‘Key risks across sectors and regions’ (AR6, WG II, chapter 16) and ‘Climate resilient development pathways and transformation’ (AR6, WGII, chapter 18). Fostering a focus on the interdisciplinary and cross-cutting issues of climate change impacts and adaptation is needed, as various studies has shown that the sole provisioning of climate and adaptation knowledge does not necessarily lead to adaptation uptake and the reduction of vulnerabilities. In that respect a great deal of attention will be placed upon these chapters teams and chapters„ they are seen as among the key chapters of AR6 with very wide applicability.

WGII, Chapter 17: ‘Decision making options for managing risk’ will mainly deal with two aspects: 1) drivers of decision-making, including values, perceptions, differential power and influence, behaviour, and incentives, and 2) Non-monetized and monetarized costs and losses, benefits, synergies, and trade-offs, including distributional aspects and the social cost of carbon. These aspects will have to be considered across multiple scales, institutions, and systems, including case studies.

This session aims to collect and pool the currently available scientific evidence on the above mentioned issues and to attract scholars working on the issues to present their knowledge and contribute to the overall assessment goals. Therefore, this session invites contributions from all relevant disciplines investigating the science of decision making of individuals, households, governments, non-governmental organizations, as well as the private sector, including insurances, related to risk, risk management, impacts, and reasons for concern. The overall target of these will be to explore ways to generate effective, fair, and inclusive decision-making. This also include conditions and mechanisms to reduce risk, i.e. conditions for adaptation. The latter may in particular involve lessons from case studies as evidence-based stories of opportunities and barriers related to climate risk management and adaptation.

Target audience

This session is a science-policy-society session, meant for adaptation researchers, citizens and practitioners contributing to decision making options for managing risks as outlined above. Although, the evidence base of the IPCC assessment reports mainly stems from scientific peer-reviewed sources, this chapter 17 of the WGII contribution is aiming to collect and synthesise relevant knowledge to the opportunities and barriers of risk management and adaptation from case studies and evidence-based stories. In that sense, practitioners and decision makers are also welcome to share their knowledge.

Proposed format for the session

This is a science-practice session that will enhance engagement and learning between science and practice including interdisciplinary, cross-cutting issues with policy and society. In order to account for the extremely large expectations of this session„connected to the interdisciplinary challenges, but also attention and assumed wide applicability„we choose a rather uncommon format. We ask a large number of contributors, e.g. up to 20, to pitch their evidence and case study knowledge on climate change decision making in 3 minutes talks/contributions/presentation. The 3 minute rule will be strictly enforced. Contributions can be submitted presentations to ECCA as well as stand-up contributions from the audience. During the session the conveners will pool the presented evidence to themes relevant to the chapter and collect literature and other data sources. Contributions of the session are meant to feed into the chapter of IPCC AR6 WGII, Chapter 17.

Contributing Authors abstracts

1. Diana Reckien (University of Twente):

Diana Reckien is Associate Professor Climate Change and Urban Inequality at the University of Twente, in the Netherlands and Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC WGII ch17 (with Mark New & David Viner). She will give a short introduction to the aims and topics of this session as outlined above and report on the main findings of the assessment work on ‘Equity and Environmental Justice and Urban Climate Change’ for the ‘Second Assessment Report of Climate Change in Cities’ in order to lay the ground for and clarify understanding of ‘effective, fair, and inclusive decision-making’.

2. Mark New (University of Cape Town)

Mark New is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Climate Change and Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and a Professor of International Development at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. His research includes, amongst others, detection of climate change trends, climate modelling and scenarios, assessment of uncertainty in climate projections and impacts, and climate change adaptation. His research on impacts and adaptation has addressed broader adaptation policy issues around high-end climate change and dangerous climate impacts, and approaches to adaptation decision making under uncertainty. He will shortly present relevant aspects from these works.

3. David Viner (Mott McDonald)

David Viner is Principal Advisor, Climate Change for Mott MacDonald (a global engineering, management and development consultancy). Mott MacDonald is one of the largest employee-owned companies in the world, with 16,000 working in over 140 countries. Motivated by his professional experience David is in particular interested in strengthening the role and views of practitioners in the AR6. He will present relevant insights with from his work with regard to decision-making options for managing risk.

4. So-Min Cheong (University of Kansas, USA)

So-Min Cheong is a professor of Geography at the University of Kansas. She focuses on disaster management and climate change adaptation.  For this session, she will discuss her findings on Hurricane Harvey using tweets to understand our increasing attention to complex and ambiguous topics that generate fake news and talk about her team’s latest analysis on individual’s mobility patterns using mobile sensing data immediately after Hurricane Harvey.  These findings will reveal how we avoid maladaptation and generate customized solutions for specific locations affected by weather-related disasters.

5. Annamaria Lammel (University of Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint Denis)

Anna Maria Lammel has thirty years of experience in the study of human interaction with climate and climate change, on perception of risk, and cognitive abilities in decision making and adaptation. She was a lead author of the IPCC AR5, WGIICh2 ‘Foundation for decision-making’ and is a lead author of the IPCC AR6 WGIICH17. She has a background in anthropology and in cognitive and cross-cultural social psychology, with multi-faceted research experiences in the fields of: Risk perception, psychosocial, economic and anthropological underpinnings of decision making to climate change„valuable expertise she will report on.

6. Reinhard Mechler (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)

Reinhard Mechler has more than 15 years of experience working on the economics of disaster risk and resilience, risk modeling and climate change. He currently is deputy director of the Risk and Resilience (RISK) research program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). He will share insights from his projects on climate risk management, the science-policy practice interface, transformation and Loss and Damage.