IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Global and local economic impacts of climate change in Syria and options for adaptation:


  • Breisinger, Clemens
  • Zhu, Tingju
  • Al Riffai, Perrihan
  • Nelson, Gerald
  • Robertson, Richard
  • Funes, Jose
  • Verner, Dorte


There is broad consensus among scientists that climate change is altering weather patterns around the world. However, economists are only beginning to develop tools that allow for the quantification of such weather changes on countries' economies and people. This paper presents a modeling suite that links the downscaling of global climate models, crop modeling, global economic modeling, and subnational-level computable equilibrium modeling. Important to note is that this approach allows for decomposing the potential global and local economic effects on countries, including various economic sectors and different household groups. We apply this modeling suite to Syria, a relevant case study given the country's location in a region that is consistently projected to be among those hit hardest by climate change. Despite a certain degree of endogenous adaptation, local impacts of climate change (through declining yields) are likely to affect Syria beyond the agricultural sector and farmers and also reduce economy-wide growth and incomes of urban households in the long term. The overall effects of global climate change (through higher food prices) are also negative, but some farmers can reap the benefit of higher prices. Combining local and global climate change scenarios shows welfare losses across all rural and urban household groups of between 1.6 – 2.8 percent annually, whereas the poorest household groups are the hardest hit. Finally, while there is some evidence that droughts may become more frequent in the future, it is clear that even without an increase in frequency, drought impacts will continue to put a significant burden on Syria's economy and people. Action to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and variability should to be taken on the global and local level. A global action plan for improving food security and better integration of climate change in national development strategies, agricultural and rural policies, and disaster risk management and social protection policies will be keys for improving the resilience of countries and people to climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Breisinger, Clemens & Zhu, Tingju & Al Riffai, Perrihan & Nelson, Gerald & Robertson, Richard & Funes, Jose & Verner, Dorte, 2011. "Global and local economic impacts of climate change in Syria and options for adaptation:," IFPRI discussion papers 1091, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1091

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pauw, Karl & Thurlow, James & van Seventer, Dirk, 2010. "Droughts and floods in Malawi," IFPRI discussion papers 962, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Breisinger, Clemens & van Rheenen, Teunis & Ringler, Claudia & Nin Pratt, Alejandro & Minot, Nicholas & Aragon, Catherine & Yu, Bingxin & Ecker, Olivier & Zhu, Tingju, 2010. "Food security and economic development in the Middle East and North Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 985, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Thurlow, James & Zhu, Tingju & Diao, Xinshen, 2009. "The impact of climate variability and change on economic growth and poverty in Zambia:," IFPRI discussion papers 890, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. You, Liangzhi & Wood, Stanley, 2006. "An entropy approach to spatial disaggregation of agricultural production," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-3), pages 329-347, October.
    5. Yu, Bingxin & Zhu, Tingju & Breisinger, Clemens & Hai, Nguyen Manh, 2010. "Impacts of climate change on agriculture and policy options for adaptation," IFPRI discussion papers 1015, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Nelson, Gerald C. & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Koo, Jawoo & Robertson, Richard & Sulser, Timothy & Zhu, Tingju & Ringler, Claudia & Msangi, Siwa & Palazzo, Amanda & Batka, Miroslav & Magalhaes, Marilia & Va, 2009. "Climate change: Impact on agriculture and costs of adaptation," Food policy reports 21, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Horridge, Mark & Madden, John & Wittwer, Glyn, 2005. "The impact of the 2002-2003 drought on Australia," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 285-308, April.
    8. Boyd, Roy & Ibarrarán, Maria E., 2009. "Extreme climate events and adaptation: an exploratory analysis of drought in Mexico," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(03), pages 371-395, June.
    9. Breisinger, Clemens & Diao, Xinshen, 2008. "Economic transformation in theory and practice: What are the messages for Africa?," IFPRI discussion papers 797, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Wiebelt, Manfred & Breisinger, Clemens & Ecker, Olivier & Al-Riffai, Perrihan & Robertson, Richard & Thiele, Rainer, 2011. "Climate change and floods in Yemen: Impacts on food security and options for adaptation," IFPRI discussion papers 1139, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item


    Climate change; Development; drought; Growth; Poverty;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1091. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.