The overarching aim of RESPECT is to support the operationalization of comprehensive climate risk management in Austria and beyond by broadening the scope of the CRM framework towards a more inclusive involvement of stakeholders at different governance levels.

East Tirol in autumn. Lienz town locality, Austria. Shutterstock ID: 380654482

East Tirol in autumn. Lienz town locality, Austria. Shutterstock ID: 380654482


Supported by the Austrian Climate Research Program (ACRP) and carried out within an interdisciplinary project consortium led by IIASA, the project aims to foster the operationalization of comprehensive climate risk management (CRM) at the local and national level in Austria by employing a risk-layering approach in a participatory environment with key actors.

Risk layering involves identifying efficient and acceptable interventions based on the recurrence of hazards and allocating roles and responsibilities to reduce, finance or accept risks. More specifically, the goal of RESPECT is to broaden the scope of the CRM framework towards a more comprehensive involvement of stakeholders at different governance levels, and to co-generate concrete and operationalizable measures to comprehensively manage climate-related risks. RESPECT focuses on flood and drought risk; these constitute the major climate-related risks in Austria and are expected to rise sharply as a result of climate change and increased exposure of assets.


The objectives of RESPECT take into account scientific, policy and decision-making aspects:

  • To develop a risk-agency framework that supports the co-generation of a comprehensive and actionable climate-risk management approach.
  • To synthesize climate-risk information for Austria and use this in combination with a spatial and temporal risk assessment to identify current risk levels, possible future scenarios, as well as potential intervention measures linked to the risk-layering approach.
  • To operationalize the concept of climate-risk layering in a participatory environment at the local level, cooperatively identifying and allocating concrete roles and responsibilities.
  • To identify the Austrian government’s potential fiscal risk when it is implicitly or explicitly taking over certain layers of climate-related risk.
  • To bridge the gap between research and policy regarding comprehensive CRM, as well as aligning local and national level CRM needs and opportunities by integrating information across scales.

Methodological Approach

RESPECT addresses these objectives on two scales, using participatory dialogue that builds on scenario approaches 1) at the local/municipality scale for the city of Lienz in Tirol, a forerunner of action on climate adaptation, and 2) at the national scale, where the fiscal impacts associated with climate change are assessed. Appropriate linkages across scales, such as to the role of states, will also be considered.

RESPECT will begin by assessing the current decision- and policy-making context at the national and local level. Building on the IPCC’s framing of risk as the nexus of hazard, exposure and vulnerability, the project will then conduct a mapping of flood and drought risk in Austria, synthesizing multiple and available climate and socio-economic data for the national and local level case studies. Appropriate methods and tools for operationalizing CRM and risk layering in Austria at the national (fiscal risk assessment with a stochastic longer-term budget analysis; fiscal stress testing based on the CATSIM model) and local level (role-play simulation) for the city of Lienz will be developed; these will then be applied to a specific case study in order to proof the effectiveness of the respective concepts and support its eventual operationalization.

Throughout the project we will endeavor to link the Austrian case to the broader international CRM-decision context, and build on the lessons learned in order to establish a more generic approach which can inform CRM practice also  other decision contexts.

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Last edited: 29 August 2018


Thomas Schinko

Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar Equity and Justice Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program


June 2017 - May 2019


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313