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Assessing Vulnerability to Transboundary Climate Risks and Adaptation Options. A Case of East Africa Commission Countries

Njung'e, Tabby LU (2020) In IIIEE Master Thesis IMEM01 20201
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Increasing global interconnectivity, in terms of our economies, ecological systems and population dynamics, can reduce or amplify the risks posed by climate change. The ongoing Coronavirus 2019 crisis demonstrates how rapidly disasters and risks can cascade and escalate across countries to become a shared problem globally. Climate change impacts are increasingly being recognised not only as a national problem but also a transboundary issue. However, transboundary climate risks assessments have tended to focus on the risks that transmit through our shared biophysical resources and neighbouring states with limited discussion on climate risks that transmit through other pathways, such as trade, people, and finance and from far off nations.... (More)
Increasing global interconnectivity, in terms of our economies, ecological systems and population dynamics, can reduce or amplify the risks posed by climate change. The ongoing Coronavirus 2019 crisis demonstrates how rapidly disasters and risks can cascade and escalate across countries to become a shared problem globally. Climate change impacts are increasingly being recognised not only as a national problem but also a transboundary issue. However, transboundary climate risks assessments have tended to focus on the risks that transmit through our shared biophysical resources and neighbouring states with limited discussion on climate risks that transmit through other pathways, such as trade, people, and finance and from far off nations. Despite growing awareness about these transmission pathways, and some assessments in developed regions, there is a lack of a guiding framework to help planners identify and assess the key factors that drive transboundary climate risk exposure at the country and regional level. This study aims to contribute to filling these gaps by proposing a holistic analytical framework that can be used to assess how countries may be exposed to transboundary climate risks through trade. The East African Community (EAC) countries are used as case studies to illustrate how such assessments may be carried out. As a result, the thesis identifies two sets of factors. First, external risk factors, which determine the level of risk that importing countries are exposed to through their interaction with markets beyond their borders. Second, internal adaptive capacity factors representing the importing country’s capacity to respond to transboundary climate risks. The results show that EAC countries face high levels of transboundary climate risks as a result of their high import dependencies, which link them to climate vulnerabilities in other parts of the world. Further, the study demonstrates that regional differences and interdependencies in transboundary climate risks exist. This can be explored to determine policy coherence and comparative advantage opportunities, within the region as well as individual country actions. To enhance the accuracy of future assessments and robustness of responses, the study recommends use of qualitative and quantitative methods. The findings offer a step towards guidance for the EAC countries, its trade and investment partners working in adaptation and trade, so that trade in East Africa is made more resilient to current and future climate change. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Njung'e, Tabby LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEM01 20201
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
transboundary climate risks, vulnerability, adaptation, adaptive ability, international trade, risk assessment.
publication/series
IIIEE Master Thesis
report number
2020:41
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
9025127
date added to LUP
2020-07-15 20:37:16
date last changed
2020-07-15 20:37:16
@misc{9025127,
  abstract     = {Increasing global interconnectivity, in terms of our economies, ecological systems and population dynamics, can reduce or amplify the risks posed by climate change. The ongoing Coronavirus 2019 crisis demonstrates how rapidly disasters and risks can cascade and escalate across countries to become a shared problem globally. Climate change impacts are increasingly being recognised not only as a national problem but also a transboundary issue. However, transboundary climate risks assessments have tended to focus on the risks that transmit through our shared biophysical resources and neighbouring states with limited discussion on climate risks that transmit through other pathways, such as trade, people, and finance and from far off nations. Despite growing awareness about these transmission pathways, and some assessments in developed regions, there is a lack of a guiding framework to help planners identify and assess the key factors that drive transboundary climate risk exposure at the country and regional level. This study aims to contribute to filling these gaps by proposing a holistic analytical framework that can be used to assess how countries may be exposed to transboundary climate risks through trade. The East African Community (EAC) countries are used as case studies to illustrate how such assessments may be carried out. As a result, the thesis identifies two sets of factors. First, external risk factors, which determine the level of risk that importing countries are exposed to through their interaction with markets beyond their borders. Second, internal adaptive capacity factors representing the importing country’s capacity to respond to transboundary climate risks. The results show that EAC countries face high levels of transboundary climate risks as a result of their high import dependencies, which link them to climate vulnerabilities in other parts of the world. Further, the study demonstrates that regional differences and interdependencies in transboundary climate risks exist. This can be explored to determine policy coherence and comparative advantage opportunities, within the region as well as individual country actions. To enhance the accuracy of future assessments and robustness of responses, the study recommends use of qualitative and quantitative methods. The findings offer a step towards guidance for the EAC countries, its trade and investment partners working in adaptation and trade, so that trade in East Africa is made more resilient to current and future climate change.},
  author       = {Njung'e, Tabby},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {transboundary climate risks,vulnerability,adaptation,adaptive ability,international trade,risk assessment.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master Thesis},
  title        = {Assessing Vulnerability to Transboundary Climate Risks and Adaptation Options. A Case of East Africa Commission Countries},
  year         = {2020},
}