Why Screen?

Building resilience to climate and geophysical hazards is a vital step in the fight against poverty. Screening for risks from these hazards at an early stage in project design improves the likelihood and longevity of a project’s success. Such screening enables project teams:

To assess whether climate and disaster risks may have an impact on energy

Local and regional climates are changing. Examples of changes in climate and their potential impacts on the energy sector include:
  • Higher temperatures, reducing the efficiency of electricity transmission and distribution systems
  • Reduced availability of water for oil and gas production and energy generation
  • More frequent or intense extreme weather events that damage energy infrastructure, such as floods, droughts, and tropical cyclones
  • Sea level rise, which poses tremendous risk to energy infrastructure located along the coasts
  • Changing precipitation, temperature, and wind patterns that affect hydropower and other renewable energy resources
  • There are also natural hazards unrelated to climate that are of concern, including earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcano eruptions. This tool screens for risks from both climate hazards and these geophysical hazards.

To assess how these risks could affect development

The impacts of climate change and climate and geophysical disasters complicate the development challenge. They are causing many of the world’s poorest to face additional hurdles, such as less reliable access to energy, rises in energy costs, and more frequent and longer power outages. Each of these hurdles also hampers economic growth.

To assess how the development context could modulate risks

In addition, the development context in which a project operates may influence the level of impacts caused by climate and disasters. Social, political, and economic factors - such as institutional capacity, legal enforcement, and financial resources - are important to consider in evaluating the relationship between human development and natural disasters stemming from climate change and geophysical hazards.

To help design climate- and disaster-resilient projects

The impacts of climate change may hinder development progress and may even wipe out development gains made in the past.
Addressing climate change impacts in project design helps protect project investments from climate risks. For example:
  • Engineers may design power plants with additional protective measures to combat rising sea levels, storm surges, and floods.
  • Strategic planning and decision making in the energy sector may incorporate changes in the reliability and distribution of power.