⚠️This is the first operational version of the handbook, but it is still a work in progress and will be heavily updated during 2024!⚠️

Before you start#


Risk is defined as “[t]he potential for adverse conse-quences for human or ecological systems, recognizing the diversity of values and objectives associated with such systems.” (Reisinger et al., 2020, p. 4). It can be calculated as an interplay of climate hazards (e.g. frequency and intensity of droughts), exposure (e.g. a land area where agriculture is conducted) and vulnerability (e.g. presence or absence of irrigation) and also includes human responses (Ara Begum et al., 2022).


A Climate-related Hazard is “the potential occurrence of a natural or human-induced physical event or trend that may cause loss of life, injury, or other health impacts, as well as damage and loss to property, infrastructure, livelihoods, service provision, ecosystems and environmental resource” (IPCC, 2022, p. 5). Climate change can alter the frequency, magnitude, and duration of extreme weather events which are espe-cially relevant for a climate risk context.


Exposure refers to “(t)he presence of people; livelihoods, species or ecosys-tems, environmental functions, services, and resources, infrastructure, or economic, social, or cultural assets in places and settings that could be adversely affected” (Oppenheimer et al., 2014, p. 1048).


Vulnerability is defined as “ the propensity or predisposition to be adversely affected and en-compasses a variety of concepts and elements, including sensitivity or susceptibility to harm and lack of capacity to cope and adapt.”(IPCC, 2022, p. 5). It further includes “all relevant environmental, physical, technical, social, cultural, economic, institutional, or policy-related factors that contribute to susceptibility and/or lack of capacity to prepare, prevent, respond, cope or adapt” (UNDRR, 2022, p. 19). The Climate Risk Sourcebook (Zebisch et al., 2023, p. 19) defines the reduction of vulnerability as “one of the big-gest levers” for climate risk management.


In addition to hazard, exposure and vulnerability, climate risk also depends on how a society adapts to climate events. Adaptation responses (also called climate risk management interventions or options) may entail planned adap-tation (physical constructions, nature based solutions, planned relocation) or autonomous adapta-tion (behavioral changes or forced migration).

Stakeholders, Experts, Representatives, Users#

  • Stakeholders may be identified from relevant policy areas (e.g. ministries, agencies, government and state offices, agencies) as well as from public and private sectors of interest.

  • Experts are scientists, practitioners or policy advisors with robust knowledge on climate risks (e.g. universities, institutes, climate and meteorological services).

  • Representatives from vulnerable or marginalized groups, exposed areas, or other relevant communities in society.

  • Users are directly related to the (technical) use of the CLIMAAX Climate Risk Assessment Framework and Toolbox.

Supporting Definitions#

Climate Risk Management (CRM) includes plans, actions, strategies or policies that “reduce the likelihood and/or magnitude of adverse potential consequences, based on assessed or perceived risk” (IPCC, 2023, p. 2921). CRM has the goal of reaching resilience and adaptation.

Risk Outcome refers to the result(s) of the Risk Workflow(s) as part of Risk Analysis and feeds into the Key Risk Assessment.

Workflows are organized by hazard and quantify climate risk in the Risk Analysis step through the CLIMAAX Toolbox. Workflows are coded in Python and allow to be modified by users.