The scientific approach


The project CLIC starts in October 2018 and finishes in September 2020. Given the innovative character of CLIC and the huge effort-intensive activities planned, the project focuses on coastal cities facing climate impacts such as sea-level rise and extreme coastal events. This will enable the use of a database on risk-damage functions already developed by BC3 colleagues which covers the 120 world-wide largest coastal port cities.


The first stage involves the identification and characterisation of climate change adaptation initiatives across the 120 cities. This process of documenting adaptation requires the development of specific protocols to code findings that will later facilitate replication and comparability. Initially, the project will look at public adaptation policies that may affect urban resilience. The documenting process will also be designed to facilitate the identification of specific actions focused on reducing current or future coastal impacts (sea-level rise and extreme events). Why? Because only these actions will be able to address the risks considered in the risk-damage functions (see above). Policy documents will be retrieved on a city-by-city basis using an Internet search engine. Administration officers will be surveyed to confirm the findings. Challenges include the need to account for differences in the planning culture in different countries, the need to limit the documenting process based on available resources (time and number of analysts), and the languages used in policy documents.


In a second stage, to ascertain that the set adaptation policies will be effective in the long-term, first, their credibility will be assessed. This will be done following the methodology that the project team proposes in this BC3 working paper (final manuscript version under review). The paper defines a conceptual framework to assess credibility of adaptation policies considering (a) policy and economic factors, (b) scientific and technical factors and (c) legitimacy. This results in 17 indicators and 53 metrics that analyse aspects such as (a) funding, consistency and coherency, prioritisation and timing, past performance, assigned responsibilities, public opinion, legislation and regulatory nature, networks membership, leadership and support (b) impacts and vulnerability assessment, adaptation options assessment, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (MER) processes, learning mechanisms, uncertainty awareness and (c) transparency and dialogue, engagement of stakeholders and civil society’ and equity and justice. The credibility assessment will provide an overall idea of the probability of these adaptation policies being delivered and sustained in the future. It includes an assessment of policy contents and the policy process. It will allow for comparison and identification of improvement areas.


In a third stage, CLIC will assess how well identified adaptation policies are aligned with future risks, as seen in the risk-damage functions developed for the set of 136 major coastal cities. The functions provide yearly data on the probability of expected damages as a result of coastal flood risk from sea-level rise and extreme events from 2020 to 2100. This way, they allow for the accounting of risk probabilities and their temporal dimension and translates damages into economic terms. The effectiveness assessment framework will translate adaptation policy outputs and outcomes in policy impacts by identifying the timeline (by when the adaptation will be put in place) and estimating the amount of protected population and/or infrastructure in economic terms. This info will be then compared with the yearly damages provided by the risk-damage functions. Results will provide information on whether adaptation policies are on a good track and recommendations for future policy.


Finally, the relevance and usability of the results will be contrasted with stakeholders in an in-depth case study.

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