Climate risks and challenges

Phenomena related to climate change, sometimes categorized under the term “climate risk,” have an impact on Ineris’ fields of expertise. Industrial accidents, air pollution, cavity collapses ... Ineris integrates climate change into all its work on environmental risk.

During the 2000s, Ineris took an interest in the consequences that climate change might bring to the accidental, chronic and subsoil risks that fall under its expertise. In its Objectives and Performance Contract 2016-2020, Ineris set itself the objective to include this new dimension into its work on industrial and environmental risk prevention.

Natech risk

Climate change has introduced a new form of accidental risk, at the intersection of natural and technological risk. A “Natech” risk is defined as “the impact a natural disaster may have on all or part of an industrial installation likely to cause an accident and the consequences of which may cause damage to the surroundings, to people, goods or the environment.”
The Natech approach differs from traditional technological risk analysis in its exceptional scope, which means the evaluation criteria must be adapted. The Institute does so when it calculates the potential impact of floods, earthquakes and lightning on at-risk industrial installations.

Atmospheric pollution and climate

Climate change phenomena are also taken into consideration in the analysis of chronic risk - air quality management combines the interactions between global warming and atmospheric pollution.
Changes in the global climate, which modify the physical characteristics of the atmosphere, have an influence on the formation of pollutants in the air. For example, the increased frequency of extreme meteorological events.
Conversely, certain pollutants have an influence on the climate because they disrupt the equilibrium of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth’s atmosphere (also called the radiation balance), thus indirectly increasing or limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate and ground movement

Climate change stimulates the occurrence of extreme natural phenomena and is integrated into work on soil and subsoil risks. The impact of climate change phenomena is studied as ground movement risks at Ineris.
Changes in precipitation patterns and temperature may have an impact on the stability of rocky slopes, particularly in mountainous regions, due to the increased variability on subterranean water levels and the stability of cavities and pillar supports.