The Fos container terminal in Marseille, France. Photo credit: Tristan Taussac (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr

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, the authors develop indicators of country-level exposure to what they call the transnational impacts of climate change: those that occur in one place as a consequence of climate impacts somewhere else. The indicators make it possible to quantify each country’s exposure across multiple dimensions. The authors 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. There are 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.