Significant effort has gone into identifying and assessing climate change impacts, often within tightly defined sectoral contexts or within specific administrative boundaries, for example in national adaptation plans. Interest is now growing among policy makers and researchers to better understand the transmission of climate impacts from one location to another.
While impacts, adaptation and vulnerability research traditionally failed to take such climate impacts into account, a number of recent national-level scoping studies have recognized the potential significance of cross-border climate impacts. However, these studies have lacked an explicit futures perspective, and implicitly assumed static conditions under which cross-border climate impact is assessed.
This paper addresses this research gap by developing a scenario-based framework for the study of future cross-border climate impacts using the global Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). The authors apply this framework to assess future cross-border climate impacts in Kenya. They develop “extended SSPs” in a combined top-down and bottom-up approach implemented through a co-production process together with local stakeholders.
The bottom-up element of their approach consists of local drivers for understanding Kenya’s vulnerability to future cross-border climate impacts, and the top-down element consists of the global SSPs as common boundary conditions. Finally, the extended SSPs combined with identified future cross-border climate impacts are used to stimulate a participatory co-production process to explore and evaluate different sets of adaptation options and activities. These future-oriented adaptation actions have the potential to improve Kenyan adaptation planning to mitigate and adapt to future climate impacts generated from global flows.