Can Social Protection Tackle Risks Emerging from Climate Change, and How? a Framework and a Critical Review

Cecilia Costella, Maarten van Aalst, Yola Georgiadou, Rachel Slater, Rachel Reilly, Anna McCord, Rebecca Holmes, Jonathan Ammoun, Valentina Barca,Can social protection tackle emerging risks from climate change, and how? A framework and a critical review, Climate Risk Management, Volume 40, 2023, 100

16 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2022 Last revised: 3 Apr 2023

See all articles by Cecilia Costella

Cecilia Costella

University of Twente - Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)

Maarten van Aalst

University of Twente

Yola Georgiadou

University of Twente - Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)

Rachel Slater

Centre for International Development Training; Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Rachel Reilly

University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg

Anna McCord

Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Rebecca Holmes

Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Jonathan Ammoun

DAI Global UK Ltd

Valentina Barca

DAI Global UK Ltd

Date Written: September 1, 2022

Abstract

Climate change is transforming the risks individuals and households face, with potentially pro-
found socioeconomic consequences such as increased poverty, inequality, and social instability.
Social protection is a policy tool that governments use to help individuals and households manage
risks linked to income and livelihoods, and to achieve societal outcomes such as reducing poverty
and inequality. Despite its potential as a policy response to climate change, the integration of
social protection within the climate policy agenda is currently limited. While the concept of risk is
key to both sectors, different understandings of the nature and scope of climate change impacts
and their implications, as well as of the adequacy of social protection instruments to address
them, contribute to the lack of policy and practice integration.
Our goal is to bridge this cognitive gap by highlighting the potential of social protection as a
policy response to climate change. Using a comprehensive climate risk lens, we first explore how
climate change drives risks that are within the realm of social protection, and their implications,
including likely future trends in demand for social protection. Based on this analysis, we critically
review existing arguments for what social protection can do and evidence of what it currently does
to manage risks arising from climate change. From the analysis, a set of reconceptualised roles
emerge for social protection to strategically contribute to climate-resilient development.

Keywords: social protection, social policy, climate risk framework, climate change responses, climate-resilient development

Suggested Citation

Costella, Cecilia and van Aalst, Maarten and Georgiadou, Yola and Slater, Rachel and Reilly, Rachel and McCord, Anna and Holmes, Rebecca and Ammoun, Jonathan and Barca, Valentina, Can Social Protection Tackle Risks Emerging from Climate Change, and How? a Framework and a Critical Review (September 1, 2022). Cecilia Costella, Maarten van Aalst, Yola Georgiadou, Rachel Slater, Rachel Reilly, Anna McCord, Rebecca Holmes, Jonathan Ammoun, Valentina Barca,Can social protection tackle emerging risks from climate change, and how? A framework and a critical review, Climate Risk Management, Volume 40, 2023, 100, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4206401 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4206401

Cecilia Costella (Contact Author)

University of Twente - Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) ( email )

Netherlands

Maarten Van Aalst

University of Twente ( email )

Postbus 217
Twente
Netherlands

Yola Georgiadou

University of Twente - Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) ( email )

Netherlands

Rachel Slater

Centre for International Development Training ( email )

University of Wolverhampton

Overseas Development Institute (ODI) ( email )

111 Westminister Bridge Rd.
London, SE17JD
United Kingdom

Rachel Reilly

University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg ( email )

Anna McCord

Overseas Development Institute (ODI) ( email )

Rebecca Holmes

Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Jonathan Ammoun

DAI Global UK Ltd

Valentina Barca

DAI Global UK Ltd ( email )

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