IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report

5 The long-term perspective: scientific and socio-economic aspects relevant to adaptation and mitigation, consistent with the objectives and provisions of the Convention, and in the context of sustainable development

5.1 Risk management perspective

Responding to climate change involves an iterative risk management process that includes both mitigation and adaptation, taking into account actual and avoided climate change damages, co-benefits, sustainability, equity and attitudes to risk. {WGII 20.9, SPM; WGIII SPM}

Risk management techniques can explicitly accommodate sectoral, regional and temporal diversity, but their application requires information about not only impacts resulting from the most likely climate scenarios, but also impacts arising from lower-probability but higher-consequence events and the consequences of proposed policies and measures. Risk is generally understood to be the product of the likelihood of an event and its consequences. Climate change impacts depend on the characteristics of natural and human systems, their development pathways and their specific locations. {SYR 3.3, Figure 3.6; WGII 20.2, 20.9, SPM; WGIII 3.5, 3.6, SPM}