Aren’t we all vulnerable: why do vulnerability analysis?
The idea of ‘vulnerability’ is widely used shorthand for the disproportionate impacts that climate change will have on high-risk groups and fragile ecosystems. Decision makers increasingly want to target adaptation funding to those people and environments most affected by climate change. They must also be able to monitor the effectiveness of their investments. Vulnerability analysis is sometimes presented as the solution to these wants and needs — but existing approaches are often of little use. In this opinion, Marcus Moench suggests that to be truly useful as a basis for dialogue, action and accountability, the meaning of ‘vulnerability’ must be clarified and the methods for analysing it greatly strengthened. This means establishing standard, replicable approaches that differentiate between the roles and exposure of stakeholders, systems and institutions.