Why Screen for Climate and Disaster Risks?

To identify climate and disaster risks

Local and regional climates are changing. Examples of changes in climate that may have severe potential impacts include these:
  • More frequent or intense extreme weather events, such as floods and heat waves, which can damage road infrastructure,
  • Sea level rise, which can inundate low-lying roads, and
  • Changes in the intensity and frequency of tropical cyclones, which can damage bridges, tunnels and other coastal infrastructure.
There are also natural hazards unrelated to climate, including earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. This tool allows user to screen for risks from both climate hazards and these geophysical hazards.

To assess how these risks could affect development

The impacts of climate and geophysical hazards complicate the development challenge. Many of the world's poorest may have to face additional hurdles due to their impacts, such as:
  • Decreases in agricultural productivity,
  • Greater health threats from flooding and from water-borne diseases, and
  • Increases in water scarcity.

To assess how the development context could modulate risks

In addition, the development context can influence the level of impacts caused by climate-related and other geophysical hazards. Social, political and economic factors--such as access to finance and social safety nets--are important to consider in evaluating the relationship between development plans and risks.

To increase project resilience to climate-related and other natural disasters

Impacts from climate change can undermine the benefits of development projects. Addressing these risks during project design can therefore help protect investments from climate risks and benefit them from any climate opportunities.
For example:
  • Training and education activities can incorporate best practices on managing climate variability and change,
  • Planners can identify less vulnerable locations, and
  • Engineers can design hard infrastructure to accommodate more frequent or severe extreme weather events.