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Introducing the Transnational Climate Impacts Index: Indicators of country-level exposure (2016)


Climate change mitigation is widely regarded as a global problem, but climate change impacts and adaptation are typically described as regional or local issues. This reflects the location-specific nature of physical impacts, but it fails to recognize the many interconnections among countries and regions, particularly in an increasingly globalized economy. This paper introduces a new framework for examining climate change impacts and adaptation needs from an international perspective. Based on this framework, we develop indicators of country-level exposure to what we call the transnational impacts of climate change: those that occur in one place as a consequence of climate impacts somewhere else. The indicators allow us to quantify each country’s exposure across multiple dimensions. We also construct a composite index: the Transnational Climate Impacts Index. The paper explains the rationale and methodology by which indicators were selected, and invites feedback and suggestions from readers on how to further develop this research. We see significant opportunities to strengthen and deepen the quantitative assessment of exposure to transnational climate impacts, including via applications of the framework at the national rather than global level.

Reference information



climate risk pathways, exposure indicators, indicator

Climate impacts

Droughts, Extreme Temperatures, Flooding, Ice and Snow, Sea Level Rise, Storms, Water Scarcity



Agriculture, Biodiversity, Buildings, Coastal areas, Disaster Risk Reduction, Energy, Financial, Forestry, Health, Marine and Fisheries, Transport, Urban, Water management

Geographic characterisation


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