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Adaptation can help mitigation: an integrated approach to post-2012 climate policy

Listed author(s):
  • Bosello, Francesco
  • Carraro, Carlo
  • De Cian, Enrica

This paper analyzes the optimal mix of adaptation and mitigation expenditures in a cost-effective setting, in which countries cooperate to achieve a long-term stabilization target (550 CO 2 -eq). It uses an Integrated Assessment Model (AD-WITCH) that describes the relationships between different adaptation modes (reactive and anticipatory), mitigation and capacity building to analyze the optimal portfolio of adaptation measures. Results show that the optimal intertemporal distribution of climate policy measures is characterized by early investments in mitigation followed by large adaptation expenditures a few decades later. Hence, the possibility of adapting does not justify postponing mitigation. Moreover, a climate change policy combining mitigation and adaptation is less costly than mitigation alone. In this sense mitigation and adaptation are shown to be strategic complements rather than mutually exclusive.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2013)
Issue (Month): 03 (June)
Pages: 270-290

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Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:18:y:2013:i:03:p:270-290_00
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  1. Martin L. Weitzman, 2001. "Gamma Discounting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 260-271, March.
  2. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
  3. Manne, Alan & Mendelsohn, Robert & Richels, Richard, 1995. "MERGE : A model for evaluating regional and global effects of GHG reduction policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 17-34, January.
  4. Kelly de Bruin & Rob Dellink & Shardul Agrawala, 2009. "Economic Aspects of Adaptation to Climate Change: Integrated Assessment Modelling of Adaptation Costs and Benefits," OECD Environment Working Papers 6, OECD Publishing.
  5. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 47-73, January.
  6. Collins, Julie, 2007. "Climate Change and Emissions Trading (Power Point)," 2007 Seminar, August 24, 2007, Wellington, New Zealand 97617, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  7. Valentina Bosetti & Carlo Carraro & Massimo Tavoni, 2009. "Climate Policy after 2012," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 55(2), pages 235-254, June.
  8. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
  9. Hope, Chris & Anderson, John & Wenman, Paul, 1993. "Policy analysis of the greenhouse effect : An application of the PAGE model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 327-338, March.
  10. Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
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