Glossary entry

Compound Climate Disaster

Definitions

Option 1

Compound Climate Disaster means simultaneous or successive extreme weather or climate events with severe environmental, economic or social consequences [that occur over [a short time/ [●] years].

Option 2

Compound Climate Disaster means:

(a) two or more extreme weather or climate events occurring simultaneously or successively;

(b) combinations of extreme weather or climate events with underlying conditions that amplify the impact of those events; or

(c) combinations of weather or climate events that are not themselves extremes but lead to an extreme weather or climate event or impact when combined.

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Drafting notes

Extreme weather events are defined as weather that is unseasonal, unexpected, unusual or severe in comparison to historical weather distribution for a particular area.

In climate science, compound events can be:

  • Two or more extreme events occurring simultaneously or successively;
  • Combinations of extreme events with underlying conditions that amplify the impact of the events; or
  • Combinations of events that are not themselves extremes but lead to an extreme event or impact when combined.

For a party (for example, an insured policyholder) to be affected by a compound climate disaster, they (or relevant aspects of their business) must be situated within the exact location that the extreme weather event(s) occurred.

Application

Insurance contracts, force majeure clauses, boilerplate clauses, supply contracts and sales contracts.

References

Bevacqua, E., De Michele, C., Manning, C., Couasnon, A., Ribeiro, A. F. S., Ramos, A. M., et al. (2021). Guidelines for studying diverse types of compound weather and climate events. Earth’s Future, 9, e2021EF002340

Cheng, D., Cui, Y., Su, F. et al. The characteristics of the Mocoa compound disaster event, Colombia. Landslides 15, 1223–1232 (2018)

Phillips, C.A., Caldas, A., Cleetus, R. et al. Compound climate risks in the COVID-19 pandemic. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 586–588 (2020)

Practical Law Commercial, ‘Force Majeure’, (2022) Accessed 12 February 2022

V Thompson, ‘Canada’s flood havoc after summer heatwave shows how climate disasters combine to do extra damage’ (The Conversation, 19 November 2021) Accessed 12th February 2022

Wei Zhang, Hiroyuki Murakami, Abdou Khouakhi and Ming Luo, ‘Editorial: Compound Climate Extremes in the Present and Future Climates: Machine Learning, Statistical Methods and Dynamical Modelling (Frontiers Research Topic, 19 November 2021) https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/14520/compound-climate-extremes-in-the-present-and-future-climates-machine-learning-statistical-methods-an accessed 16 June 2022

Seneviratne, S.I., N. Nicholls, D. Easterling, C.M. Goodess, S. Kanae, J. Kossin, Y. Luo, J. Marengo, K. McInnes, M. Rahimi, M. Reichstein, A. Sorteberg, C. Vera, and X. Zhang, 2012: Changes in climate extremes and their impacts on the natural physical environment. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation [Field, C.B., V. Barros, T.F. Stocker, D. Qin, D.J. Dokken, K.L. Ebi, M.D. Mastrandrea, K.J. Mach, G.-K. Plattner, S.K. Allen, M. Tignor, and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA, pp. 109-230.