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"Mitigation, Adaptation, Suffering": In Search of the Right Mix in the Face of Climate Change


  • Henry Tulkens
  • Vincent van Steenberghe


The usually assumed two categories of costs involved in climate change policy analysis, namely abatement and damage costs, hide the presence of a third category, namely adaptation costs. This dodges the determination of an appropriate level for them. Including adaptation costs explicitly in the total environmental cost function allows one to characterize the optimal (cost minimizing) balance between the three categories, in statics as well as in dynamics. Implications are derived for cost benefit analysis of adaptation expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry Tulkens & Vincent van Steenberghe, 2009. ""Mitigation, Adaptation, Suffering": In Search of the Right Mix in the Face of Climate Change," CESifo Working Paper Series 2781, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2781

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    Cited by:

    1. Johan Eyckmans & Sam Fankhauser & Snorre Kverndokk, 2016. "Development Aid and Climate Finance," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(2), pages 429-450, February.
    2. repec:old:wpaper:332 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bréchet, Thierry & Hritonenko, Natali & Yatsenko, Yuri, 2016. "Domestic environmental policy and international cooperation for global commons," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 183-205.
    4. repec:zbw:hohpro:344 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Udo Ebert & Heinz Welsch, 2011. "Optimal response functions in global pollution problems can be upward-sloping: accounting for adaptation," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 13(2), pages 129-138, June.
    6. repec:old:wpaper:344 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Klaus Eisenack & Leonhard Kähler, 2012. "Unilateral emission reductions can lead to Pareto improvements when adaptation to damages is possible," Working Papers V-344-12, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2012.
    8. Benchekroun, H. & Marrouch, W. & Ray Chaudhuri, A., 2011. "Adaptation Effectiveness and Free-Riding Incentives in International Environmental Agreements," Discussion Paper 2011-120, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Martin Farnham & Peter Kennedy, 2015. "Adapting to Climate Change: Equilibrium Welfare Implications for Large and Small Economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(3), pages 345-363, July.
    10. Udo Ebert & Heinz Welsch, 2012. "Adaptation and Mitigation in Global Pollution Problems: Economic Impacts of Productivity, Sensitivity, and Adaptive Capacity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 52(1), pages 49-64, May.
    11. Johan Eyckmans & Sam Fankhauser & Snorre Kverndokk, 2013. "Equity, Development Aid and Climate Finance," GRI Working Papers 123, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    12. repec:zbw:hohpro:332 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Heuson, Clemens & Gawel, Erik & Gebhardt, Oliver & Hansjürgens, Bernd & Lehmann, Paul & Meyer, Volker & Schwarze, Reimund, 2012. "Ökonomische Grundfragen der Klimaanpassung: Umrisse eines neuen Forschungsprogramms," UFZ Reports 02/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy


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