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MEDIATION output (D4.2)

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D4.2: Report on typology of climate change vulnerability, impact and adaptation methods



A great variety of methods for assessing climate change vulnerability, impacts and adaptation (CCVIA) exists. This requires their systematic organisation and labelling in order to allow for the effective communication about and comparison between the methods and results produced as well as to support the selection of a method appropriate for a given case. The classifications found in the current literature prohibit this because they are based on abstract,┬┤ambiguous and very general terms such as vulnerability, integrated assessment, etc. and do not consider the wider array of social and action research methods that are being applied now that adaptation has become a practical necessity. This paper includes these methods and proposes a more specific classification based on the knowledge and action-goals addressed, the situation assumed and the kind of results produced. On the top-level, the typology distinguishes between knowledge-oriented, decision-oriented and action-oriented methods. The former are further sub-typed into impact-analytical, behaviour-analytical and institution-analytical methods, where impact-analytical subsumes observed impact explanation and attribution, future impact indication and impact projection. For each of these types and subtypes we present example applications from the literature and discuss some of the issues involved. We find that much of the current literature on CCVIA has focused on impact-analytical approaches. In approaches aimed at institutions and individual behaviour, the typology has been developed on the basis of theoretical assumptions made in applying different methods. Further work should focus on climate specific classifications of the institutional and policy analysis literature as well as on refining conditions of applicability for methods.

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