My Climate Risk

Organizer: Regina Rodrigues
Format: Online, Evening

Climate change is recognized as a risk multiplier for resilience. The current paradigm for regional climate risk assessment is scenario-based, sometimes referred to as ‘predict then act’, with contextualization of climate information performed mainly as a post-processing step. This approach has been widely shown to lead to a ‘cascade of uncertainty’, which makes climate information difficult to use effectively at the local scale. In practice, climate change is but one contributor to resilience challenges, and needs to be brought into the risk and decision context in combination with other drivers of risk. There have been growing calls to take a ‘vulnerability first’ approach to climate risk, but this requires a paradigm shift in the way that climate information is produced. The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) is a major producer of climate information and is addressing this challenge through a new cross-programme Lighthouse Activity called ‘My Climate Risk’. The title makes explicit the fact that in order to be made meaningful at the local scale, climate risk needs to be embedded within a particular local and social context, and thus becomes subjective. This requires a complete transformation of how climate researchers work, needing them to become much more transdisciplinary in their thinking and to work within multi-disciplinary ‘communities of practice’, while mitigating the substantial power imbalances between the Global North and the Global South. The purpose of this session is to present and discuss ways in which we can bridge climate science and society in an organic, participatory, bottom-up fashion, building on examples of good practice from across the sustainability research community. The discussion will be conducted as a round table, with interventions from: Chi Huyen Truong, Himalayan University Consortium, Nepal; Anna Sörensson, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Laura Pereira, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Ros Cornforth, University of Reading, UK.

Themes: Sustainable Solutions from the Global South, Knowledge-to-Action