Community Guidebook on Socioeconomic Scenarios

Climate and socio-economic scenarios are essential for impact assessments and adaptation planning. Climate data and scenarios provide information about the potential frequency and severity of climatic impacts and extreme weather events over time. By contrast, socioeconomic data and scenarios highlight how socioeconomic trends and changes affect community sensitivity to climate impacts and their capacity to adapt. Although significant guidance has been developed to help users understand how to incorporate climate scenarios into assessment analysis and adaptation planning, how to incorporate socioeconomic scenarios is less well understood and practiced. This study seeks to fill this gap so that communities in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada better assess, and mitigate, the multiple stressors beyond climate that affect their capacity to adapt., Taking the socioeconomic indicators and projections developed in a companion project, this work, seeks to provide step by step guidance on how to use those scenarios, in conjunction with climate scenarios to assess potential community impacts, risks, vulnerabilities and capacities under a range of possible socioeconomic futures. The methodology folllows the approach used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other leading countries, but will be tailored to the local Nova Scotia context., A Community Guidebook on socioeconomic scenarios (forthcoming in Fall 2012)., This guidebook will help communities appreciate how climate and other stressors interact with one another to exacerbate or reduce community risks. This helps communities to prepare comprehensive plans to mitigate these risks and to take advantage of any interim opportunities. It also helps to make adaptation plans more robust to a range of possible climate and socioeconomic futures so that adaptation investments are safer and more likely to provide positive returns.