Climate change risks for severe storms in developing countries in the context of poverty and inequality in Cambodia

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    Abstract

    Least developed countries are generally regarded as particularly sensitive to climate change due to among other vulnerable locations and low adaptation capabilities. In the present study, we address climate change hazards in least developed countries by presenting a methodological framework, which is suitable for the estimation damage costs as a function of risk aversion, equality, income distribution and climate scenario using state-of-the-art climate model projections. As a case study, the methodology is applied to study severe storms in Cambodia based on two future climate scenarios and data on historical damages from storm events, which are used as a proxy in performing a sensitivity analysis on all input parameters. For the assumptions and parameter ranges used here, the study shows a high sensitivity to the income distribution (reflected by discount rates) and risk aversion and smaller effects from equality measures and extreme wind climate scenario. We emphasize that the assumptions on risk aversion reflecting consumption smoothing possibilities of low-income households clearly depicts that climate risks can be particularly high as a consequence of poverty and therefore recommend that context-specific vulnerabilities and equity concerns in climate risk studies should be included when making assessments for least developed countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNatural Hazards
    Volume94
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)261-278
    ISSN0921-030X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2018

    Keywords

    • Damage costs
    • Equality
    • Extreme events
    • Least developed countries
    • Poverty and climate change risks
    • Storms

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