Development of the Korean climate change vulnerability assessment tool (VESTAP)-centered on health vulnerability to heat waves

Kwan Young Oh, Moung Jin Lee, Seong Woo Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to develop a Korean climate change vulnerability assessment tool, the Vulnerability Assessment Tool to build Climate Change Adaptation Plan (VESTAP). Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change methodology, VESTAP can be used to evaluate Korea's vulnerability to major climate impacts (including 32 conditions in 8 categories). VESTAP is based on RCP 4.5/8.5 scenarios and can provide evaluation results in 10-year intervals from the 2010s to 2040s. In addition, this paper presents the results of a case study using VESTAP for targeted assessment of health vulnerability to heat waves under the RCP 8.5 scenario for the 2040s. Through vulnerability assessment at the province level in South Korea, Daegu Metropolitan City was identified as the most vulnerable region. The municipality and submunicipality levels of Daegu were also assessed in separate stages. The results indicated that Pyeongni 3-Dong in Seo-Gu was most vulnerable. Through comprehensive analysis of the results, the climate exposure index was identified as the greatest contributor to health vulnerability in Korea. Regional differences in climate exposure can be moderated by social investment in improving sensitivity and adaptive capacity. This study is significant in presenting a quantitative assessment of vulnerability to climate change by the administrative unit in South Korea. The results of this study are expected to contribute to the efficient development and implementation of climate change adaptation policies in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1103
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 24

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted at Korea Environment Institute (KEI) with support by a grant (16CTAP-C114629-01) from the Technology Advancement Research Program (TARP) funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Korean government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors.


  • Adaptive capacity
  • Climate change
  • Health vulnerability
  • Heat wave
  • IPCC AR4
  • Vulnerability assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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