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Tools for climate risk management:
The UKCIP climate adaptation risk
framework and the UKCIP adaptation wizard
SICCIA, Eibsee Hotel, Grainau, Germany, 30 June 2004
Richenda Connell
UK Climate Impacts Programme
Outline
• Introduction to UKCIP, studies & partnerships
• UKCIP/Environment Agency climate adaptation risk
management framework: How it works & key principles
• Semi-fictional case study: Application of framework to a water
resources decision
• Prototype UKCIP adaptation wizard
UKCIP provides a bridge between
decision-makers and climate scientists
• ‘The UK Climate Impacts Programme helps
organisations assess how they might be affected by
climate change, so they can prepare for its impacts’
• UKCIP:
– promotes stakeholder-led, problem-oriented research
– provides core tools (CC scenarios etc)
– provides guidance/advice for partnerships and studies
– encourages integrated approaches
•Note:
Set upUKCIP
in 1997 set up for climate change; just beginning
•toFunded
by UK‘climate
Government
Department
for Environment, Food & Rural
consider
risks’
more generally
Affairs (Defra)
• Based at University of Oxford
UKCIP includes regional & sectoral
studies & partnerships
Regional:
Sectoral:
Nine
English
Regions
Three Devolved
Administrations:
Scotland, Wales,
Northern Ireland
Agriculture
Built environment
Business
Gardens
Health
Local authorities
Marine biodiversity
Nature conservation
REGIS (integrated)
Water demand
Regional studies provide overview of a range of possible
climate impacts. Studies now complete for whole of UK
Impact study findings are integrated in key
regional planning documents…
UKCIP02 climate
change scenarios
‘London’s
warming’
scoping study
The London Plan
(spatial development
strategy for Greater
London)
Impact study findings are integrated in key
regional planning documents…
“The Mayor will and boroughs should assess and develop
policies for the likely impacts of climate change on London
identified in the work of the London Climate Change
Partnership. Policies will be developed in conjunction with the
Partnership and addressed in the first review of the London
Plan.”
(London Plan, 2004)
..but most UK decision-makers have not yet
made adaptation decisions
• Is adaptation needed?
• If adaptation is (perhaps) needed:
– How much adaptation?
– Choice of adaptation measures?
– When to adapt?
UKCIP/EA report provides a decision-making
framework for managing climate risks
• Framework describes process for
appraisal and management of risks and
uncertainties
• Similar to others used for corporate risk
management – recognisable to
decision-makers
• Enables climate risks to be
‘mainstreamed’ within existing
processes
A framework to support good decisionmaking in the face of climate risk
Stage 1: Identify problem and objectives
Background to problem
Climate sensitive?
– Adaptation, influenced,
constraining?
Type of decision?
Stakeholders?
Timescales?
Need to take a balanced approach to
managing climate and non-climate risks
1
Case study: Identify problem and objectives
• Silver Birches is a large tree growing business in East of
England
• Currently relies on mains water to irrigate pot-grown trees
• Managing Director is worried about risk of water supply
being cut off – even though this has not happened before
• This is a climate adaptation problem
1
Stage 2: Establish decision making criteria
Decision-maker’s objectives
Receptors and exposure
Success criteria
units
Legislative
requirements or
Risk assessment
endpoints
guidance
Assessment period
Attitudes to risk - optimistic,
Project management
precautionary (‘risk averse’),
issues etc
Resources
Define what makes the
correct decision
• Need operational criteria
for risk assessment and
options appraisal
• Take account of defined
thresholds and risk attitude
(optimistic,
precautionary/risk averse,
least regret)
2
Case study: Establish decision making criteria
• Objective: “Business to survive and prosper for next 20 years”
• Criteria: Options will be judged against ability to provide
secure water supply for next 20 years – consultant to define
criteria
• Risk attitude: M.D. is very risk averse to water supply loss –
trees die in 15 days
• Other criteria: Cost, practicality, reliability, feasibility, water
quality, flexibility, contingency planning, response of
employees, implications for neighbours
2
Case study: Establish decision making criteria
Consultant’s recommended trigger point:
5% above lowest 12 month precipitation on record
12 month total precipitation for calendar year
700
600
550
Trigger
level =
411 mm
or 5%
above
driest
year on
record
500
450
400
Calendar year
2001
1999
1997
1995
1993
1991
1989
1987
1985
1983
1981
1979
1977
1975
1973
1971
1969
1967
1965
350
1963
Total precipitation (mm)
650
391 mm =
driest year
on record
(1963-2002)
Stage 3: Assess risk
• Identify and characterize:
– climate and non-climate
risk factors (climate
variables)
– pathways and receptors
• Screen and prioritize risks
• Describe uncertainties
– reducible v. irreducible
– explicit assumptions
Give appropriate attention to
all risks & uncertainties
• Climate variables: Which characteristics are important? – magnitude,
direction, averaging period, statistical basis. How may these change?
• Info on low probability / high consequence events may be most uncertain –
but risk assessment may show these are highest risk
• Uncertainty in non-climate risks & impact
models may be of greater significance than
uncertainties over climate hazards
• Thresholds-based approach may help
focus attention on critical uncertainties
3
Tools for identifying and describing
uncertainty should be more widely used
(Walker et al. (2003). Defining uncertainty: A conceptual basis for
uncertainty management in model-based decision support.
Integrated Assessment, 4,(1), 5-17.)
Case study: Assess risk
Influence diagram
Case study: Assess risk
SDSM M-H emissions scenario simulated rainfall 2003-2023
700
650
600
550
500
450
400
Date
Jan-23
Jan-22
Jan-21
Jan-20
Jan-19
Jan-18
Jan-17
Jan-16
Jan-15
Jan-14
Jan-13
Jan-12
Jan-11
Jan-10
Jan-09
Jan-08
Jan-07
Jan-06
Jan-05
Jan-04
350
Jan-03
Total rainfall (mm) for previous 12 months
Running 12 month total rainfall 2003-2023
Trigger level = 411 mm
or 5% above driest year
on record (1963 – 2002)
Stage 4: Identify options
• Types of option (Do nothing?)
• Generic adaptation strategies
• No/low regret options
• Flexible options ‘adaptive
management’
• Delay decisions
Generic climate risk management options
•
Use of risk-based policy and project appraisal
process and techniques
Proactive
•
Delay and buy-time
Proactive
•
Research
Proactive or
Strategic
•
Monitoring
•
Information supply, education, awareness raising
•
Contingency planning
–- low probability, high consequence events
–- strategic planning response
- system performance
- climate impact monitoring
Proactive
Reactive
Proactive or
Reactive
Strategic
Generic climate risk management options
•
Diversification or bet-hedging
– Technical or policy
•
Insurance – financial
Proactive
•
Defend and manage
Proactive or Reactive
•
Change of use
– planning response +/- technical measures
Proactive
Reactive
•
Retreat and abandon
– strategic planning response
Proactive or
Reactive
•
Safety factors, climate headroom, buffering
measures
– technical and regulatory response
Proactive, Strategic
Proactive
Adaptive management is recommended
when dealing with uncertainty
• Useful for decision-makers to keep open / increase options
that allow climate adaptation in future, when need for
adaptation and performance of different measures is less
uncertain
• Circular, iterative framework promotes adaptive management
• Avoid implementing adaptation constraining decisions
5
4
Case study: Identify options
•Do nothing
•Diversify water supply / investigate other water supply options
•Try contract with water supply company to guarantee minimum supply
•Move or change business
•Change crop type
•Contract out tree growing
•Water recycling
•Joint venture with neighbours to develop alternative supplies
•Insurance
Do nothing: Current management practice
Mains water supply to trees
Adaptation option 1: Infrastructural strategy
Build reservoir & abstract 7,200m3 per month from drain to reservoir
Keep reservoir half full (18,000 m3) in case water supply is cut during drought event
Mains water supply to trees
Reservoir to trees
half full (18,000 m3)
Drain to reservoir
Adaptation option 2: Informational strategy
Build reservoir & abstract 7,200m3 per month from drain to reservoir
Use all available reservoir storage - do not reserve any capacity
Monitor rainfall against 411mm trigger level
When trigger reached, immediately buy enough supply from mains supplier to meet
needs for next 2 months
Mains water supply to trees
Mains water supply
to reservoir
Drain to reservoir
Reservoir to trees
Stage 5: Appraise options
• Assess performance
against decision-making
criteria
• Sensitivity of options to
uncertainty
• Implementation risks
Stage 5: Appraise Options
Performance of infrastructural strategy
Performance of infrastructural strategy during 2019-20 drought event
Reservoir storage for use during
drought event/ mains supply cut off
25000
Monthly
irrigation
requirement
20000
Runs out of
water in May
15000
10000
5000
Date
Assume mains water
supply cut 1 September
May-20
Apr-20
Mar-20
Feb-20
Jan-20
Dec-19
Nov-19
Oct-19
Sep-19
Aug-19
Jul-19
Jun-19
0
May-19
Water available/required (cubic metres)
30000
Water
available in
reservoir (or
from
mains/drain)
Stage 5: Appraise Options
Performance of informational strategy
Performance of informational strategy during 2019-2020 drought event
30000
£153,000 cheaper than
infrastructural strategy over 20 yrs
Monthly
irrigation
requirement
20000
Runs out of
water in June
15000
10000
5000
Date
Rainfall trigger
reached
Assume mains water
supply cut 1 September
Jun-20
May-20
Apr-20
Mar-20
Feb-20
Jan-20
Dec-19
Nov-19
Oct-19
Sep-19
Aug-19
Jul-19
Jun-19
0
May-19
Water available/required (cubic metres)
25000
Water
available in
reservoir (or
from
mains/drain)
Stage 6: Make decision
• Preferred option?
• Appropriate problem
definition and decision
criteria?
• Decision robust to
uncertainty?
• Confirm attitude to climate
risks
Decision risks - Under-adaptation
Large
Actual importance of
factors
Moderate
Under-adaptation
Perceived importance of
factors
None
None
Moderate
Large
Significance
Significance
of non-climate
of non-climate
riskrisk
factors
factors
Decision risks - Over-adaptation
Large
Perceived importance of
factors
Moderate
Over-adaptation
Actual importance of factors
None
None
Moderate
Significance of non-climate risk factors
Large
Case study: Make decision
• Both reservoir management options do well, but fail
eventually during very prolonged drought
• But informational strategy has cost benefit
• Other considerations:
– Building reservoir will require abstraction licence
– Use of reservoir will have implications for others
• Other options that could be explored include:
– Build a bigger reservoir
– Contract with water company
• Note: Not all uncertainties addressed
Stage 7/8: Implement decision/
Monitor, evaluate review
Case study: Implement decision/Monitor, evaluate review
• M.D. should monitor
– 12-month running total rainfall (informational
strategy)
– Use of mains water supply
– Business growth
– Number of trees
– New information on climate risks
– Water company supply agreements and pricing
policy
Applications of the framework thus far
• ‘Designing for thermal comfort in a 21st century climate’
(Ove Arup & Partners, funded by Department of Trade and Industry)
• ‘The Planning Response to Climate Change: Advice on
Better Practice’ (CAG consultants & Oxford Brookes University
for Office of the Deputy Prime Minister)
• ‘Strategic Environmental Assessment and Climate
Change: Guidance for Practitioners’ (Levett-Therivel
Sustainability Consultants, UKCIP et al)
• ‘Climate change and tourism in the Northwest’ (Ongoing)
(University of Manchester & Tyndall Centre for Northwest Climate
Group)
• Next: Developing framework for application by
companies & investors (Institutional Investors Group on Climate
Change with UKCIP, Environment Agency)
Lessons learned so far from application of
risk framework
• Decision-making including climate risks is complex, even for
relatively simple problems!
• Using a structured framework helps
• Structuring the problem and choosing decision-making
criteria (stages 1 & 2) are essential, often not given enough
attention
• Decision-maker’s attitude to risks is instrumental re.
identifying and choosing between options
• Process of working through framework throws up new ideas
– early stages may need revisiting
UKCIP adaptation wizard
• Aims to help decision-makers move through a process from
simple understanding of climate risks, to integration of these
risks into decision-making, making use of all UKCIP tools and
resources
• Draws heavily on risk framework, but less comprehensive
• Web-based
• Prototype version available at www.ukcip.org.uk/wizard
• Comments welcome!
Four levels of entry
Level
Start at this step if you …
Scoping impacts ..are beginning to think about climate risks for
the first time and are unsure whether they are
important
Quantifying risks ..have already identified most important climate
risks & are beginning to consider them in more
detail, to work out whether you need to adapt
Decision-making ..have already assessed risks and identified
& action
that you need to adapt
planning
Adaptation
..already have an adaptation strategy,
strategy review
developed through a risk-based assessment,
and want to check if it needs modifying
Layout of each level
Principles of good climate adaptation
Resources
Conclusions and recommendations - 1
• Emphasis on understanding climate variability
• Decision-maker’s problem and objectives are central to
understanding adaptation problem
• Hierarchical/tiered/iterative approach is useful
• Importance of climate risk benchmarks (tolerable risk)
• Essential to understand attitude to risk (tolerable risk)
www.ukcip.org.uk
Prototype wizard
www.ukcip.org.uk/wizard