EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The precautionary principles of the potential risks of compound events in Danish municipalities

Luise-Ch. Modrakowski1, Jian Su2, and Anne Bach Nielsen3
Luise-Ch. Modrakowski et al.
  • 1Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2Danish Meteorological Institute, Denmark
  • 3Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

The risk of compound events is defined as probable weather and climate events where many factors and dangers combine to cause catastrophic socio-economic repercussions. Compound events affecting vulnerable societies are thus a major security risk. Compound events are rarely documented, making preparedness difficult. This study examines how climate risk management is perceived and practiced in flood-prone Danish municipalities (i.e., Odense, Hvidovre, and Vejle). These practices reveal how different understandings of compound events influence risk perceptions and, thus, policy decisions. We discovered through expert interviews and policy documents that specific Danish municipalities recognize compound events as a condition or situation and develop precautionary principles. Depending on their location, they see compound events as either a vague tendency (Odense), a trend to be monitored (Hvidovre), or a partial reality (Vejle). They see flood drivers and their combinations as serious physical hazards to which they adapt. By focusing on local governance systems, it revealed the need to critically assess the mismatch between responsibility and capability, as well as the ongoing fragmentation of services related to climate concerns in Danish municipalities. The findings show that one discipline cannot address the complicated challenge of compound events. The report recommends expanding scientific techniques and increasing local focus in compound event research to stimulate creative thinking, better planning, and enhanced risk management.

How to cite: Modrakowski, L.-Ch., Su, J., and Nielsen, A. B.: The precautionary principles of the potential risks of compound events in Danish municipalities, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11062,, 2022.


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