IPCC's current conceptualization of 'vulnerability' needs more clarification for climate change vulnerability assessments

J Environ Manage. 2022 Feb 1;303:114246. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.114246. Epub 2021 Dec 8.


In this Short Communication, we raise the concern that the existing conceptualization of 'vulnerability', introduced in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), is not facilitative for standalone vulnerability assessments and that this conceptualization has not been well accepted by the vulnerability researchers. We identify three key reasons for low adoption of the AR5 conceptualization in climate change vulnerability assessments, and urge the IPCC Working Group II to clarify how the current conceptualization of 'vulnerability' can facilitate standalone climate change vulnerability assessments. We propose treating 'exposure' not only as a precondition for vulnerability but also as a secondary driver of vulnerability to capture the influence of differential exposure.

Keywords: Assessments; Climate change; Exposure; IPCC; Vulnerability.

MeSH terms

  • Climate Change*
  • Concept Formation*