“Concepts and Metrics for Climate Change Risk and Development” – IRDR Partner JRC publishes new report

At global, regional and local level there is an increasing demand from both policy makers and the business sector for understanding relationships between the determinants of climate change risk (hazards, exposure, vulnerability, and adaptation) as well as metrics and policy options to deal with such a risk. Meeting this demand is fraught with difficulties due to the multitude of objectives/criteria to be considered as well as the interrelated nature of the determinants of climate change, which are dynamic and evolving over time. A fundamental link between development strategies, climate adaptation planning, and disaster risk reduction has been recognized, but not characterized. In this context, climate resilient development can be indicated as one of the political priorities at global level.

This JRC Science and Policy report, entitled reviews the main concepts and metrics used to assess and manage climate change risk within an international context, which considers climate resilient development a central issue.


It analyses in depth five climate change indices aiming at measuring all or just a few components of climate change risk with a global coverage. The review highlights that there is no consensus on concepts and metrics, but a joint analysis of these indices identifies a common geography of the hot spot areas for climate change risk and vulnerability. Results show a consensus on the relevance of climate change risk in developing countries.
The report highlights some open questions and gaps on conceptual frameworks, metrics, and data to build an index for climate resilient development. It identifies key issues that will be addressed to build a platform towards an index for climate resilient development .

The index should include metrics on extreme climate events, climate vulnerability and adaptive capacity, taking into account the climate vulnerability of ecosystem services and the role of natural resources in climate adaptation. As a first step towards building the index, JRC scientists propose to construct a platform which will act as interface between science and policy on climate-resilient development. The platform will bring together global indicators and concepts for climate-resilient and low-carbon development. It will provide transparent, objective, reliable, accurate, and open source information on natural hazards related to climate change, vulnerability, adaptive capacity, mitigation and resilience. It will allow the users to select indicators and mathematical formulae for building their own index according to their political objectives. A workshop to be held in autumn 2014 will lay the foundations for such a platform, bringing together scientists, experts and practitioners in the fields of climate change, disaster risk management and development.

To download the report, click here. You may vist the Joint Research Centre website here.

(Text compiled from the JRC website)