Efforts to reduce disaster risks and climate change risks have co-existed for a long time, and in recent years, there has been growing attention to the relationship between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Not only are there considerable similarities in the types of actions needed to reduce both kinds of risks, but there is great scope for mutual learning.

Climate-related disasters have also become a rallying point in the international climate negotiations – a tangible, immediate reason to push for more ambitious climate action. The relationship between climate change and disaster risk – and between strategies to address them – is thus a very timely and policy-relevant issue.

The year 2015 also offers a unique opportunity to address it: a successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), a 10-year global plan to address disaster risk, is being drafted at the same time as the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being formulated, and a comprehensive new agreement is being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This is a chance to integrate three key international frameworks to guide policy and action on disasters, climate change and development more effectively and coherently.

This discussion brief, based on a background paper prepared for the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015, examines the relationship between climate and disaster risk reduction. Insights from our analysis may be useful to policy-makers from the international to the local level, as well as to interested members of civil society.

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