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Plan or React? Analysis of Adaptation Costs and Benefits Using Integrated Assessment Models


  • Shardul Agrawala


  • Francesco Bosello

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM))

  • Carlo Carraro

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM))

  • Kelly de Bruin

    (Wageningen University)

  • Enrica De Cian

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM))

  • Rob Dellink


  • Elisa Lanzi



Financing for adaptation is a core element in the ongoing international negotiations on climate change. This has motivated a number of recent global estimates of adaptation costs. While important from an agenda setting perspective, many of these estimates nevertheless have a number of limitations. They are typically static (i.e. estimated for one specific year), do not differentiate between investments in various types of adaptation or quantify the resulting benefits, and are delinked from policies and investments in greenhouse gas mitigation. Le financement de l’adaptation est un élément essentiel dans les négociations internationales qui se poursuivent concernant le changement climatique. C’est ce qui explique pourquoi un certain nombre d’estimations des coûts de l’adaptation au niveau mondial ont été établies récemment. En dépit de leur importance pour la définition de programmes d’action, beaucoup d’entre elles présentent toutefois plusieurs carences. Elles sont généralement statiques (c’est-à-dire calculées pour une année précise), elles ne font pas de différence entre les investissements en fonction du type de solution d’adaptation ou ne chiffrent pas les avantages qui en découlent, comme elles ne se rattachent pas non plus à des politiques ou à des investissements visant l’atténuation des émissions de gaz à effet de serre.

Suggested Citation

  • Shardul Agrawala & Francesco Bosello & Carlo Carraro & Kelly de Bruin & Enrica De Cian & Rob Dellink & Elisa Lanzi, 2010. "Plan or React? Analysis of Adaptation Costs and Benefits Using Integrated Assessment Models," OECD Environment Working Papers 23, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:23-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5km975m3d5hb-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Bruin, Kelly Chloe, 2011. "Distinguishing Between Proactive (Stock) and Reactive (Flow) Adaptation," CERE Working Papers 2011:8, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics.
    2. Enrica De Cian & Elisa Lanzi & Roberto Roson, 2007. "The Impact of Temperature Change on Energy Demand: A Dynamic Panel Analysis," Working Papers 2007.46, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. William R. Cline, 1992. "Economics of Global Warming, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 39, October.
    4. Francesco Bosello, 2010. "Adaptation, Mitigation and “Green” R&D to Combat Global Climate Change. Insights From an Empirical Integrated Assessment Exercise," Working Papers 2010.22, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Bigano, Andrea & Bosello, Francesco & Marano, Giuseppe, 2006. "Energy Demand and Temperature: A Dynamic Panel Analysis," International Energy Markets Working Papers 12117, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    6. Valentina Bosetti & Emanuele Massetti & Massimo Tavoni, 2007. "The WITCH Model. Structure, Baseline, Solutions," Working Papers 2007.10, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    7. Enrica De Cian & Valentina Bosetti & Alessandra Sgobbi & Massimo Tavoni, 2009. "The 2008 WITCH Model: New Model Features and Baseline," Working Papers 2009.85, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Stern,Nicholas, 2007. "The Economics of Climate Change," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521700801, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Natali Hritonenko & Yuri Yatsenko, 2013. "Modeling Of Environmental Adaptation: Amenity Versus Productivity And Modernization," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(02), pages 1-24.
    2. Stephie Fried, 2019. "Seawalls and Stilts: A Quantitative Macro Study of Climate Adaptation," 2019 Meeting Papers 898, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Roson, Roberto & Damania, Richard, 2017. "The macroeconomic impact of future water scarcity," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 1141-1162.
    4. Johannes Emmerling & Laurent Drouet & Lara Aleluia Reis & Michela Bevione & Loic Berger & Valentina Bosetti & Samuel Carrara & Enrica De Cian & Gauthier De Maere D'Aertrycke & Tom Longden & Maurizio M, 2016. "The WITCH 2016 Model - Documentation and Implementation of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways," Working Papers 2016.42, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Kennedy, Matthew & Basu, Biswajit, 2013. "Overcoming barriers to low carbon technology transfer and deployment: An exploration of the impact of projects in developing and emerging economies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 685-693.
    6. Millner, Antony & Dietz, Simon, 2015. "Adaptation to climate change and economic growth in developing countries," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 380-406, June.
    7. Duan, Hongbo & Zhang, Gupeng & Wang, Shouyang & Fan, Ying, 2019. "Integrated benefit-cost analysis of China's optimal adaptation and targeted mitigation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 76-86.
    8. Catalano, Michele & Forni, Lorenzo & Pezzolla, Emilia, 2020. "Climate-change adaptation: The role of fiscal policy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    9. Millner, Antony & Dietz, Simon, 2015. "Adaptation to climate change and economic growth in developing countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57863, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Habla, Wolfgang & Roeder, Kerstin, 2017. "The political economy of mitigation and adaptation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 239-257.
    11. Anil Markandya & Enrica De Cian & Laurent Drouet & Josué M. Polanco-Martìnez & Francesco Bosello, 2016. "Building Uncertainty into the Adaptation Cost Estimation in Integrated Assessment Models," Working Papers 2016.21, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    12. Haris Doukas & Alexandros Nikas & Mikel González-Eguino & Iñaki Arto & Annela Anger-Kraavi, 2018. "From Integrated to Integrative: Delivering on the Paris Agreement," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-10, July.
    13. Walter Vergara & Ana R. Rios & Luis Miguel Galindo Paliza & Pablo Gutman & Paul Isbell & Paul Hugo Suding & Joseluis Samaniego, 2013. "The Climate and Development Challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean: Options for Climate-Resilient, Low-Carbon Development," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 80518, February.
    14. Hoffmann, Christin, 2019. "Estimating the benefits of adaptation to extreme climate events, focusing on nonmarket damages," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 1-1.
    15. repec:idb:brikps:456 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Anil Markandya & Enrica Cian & Laurent Drouet & Josué M. Polanco-Martínez & Francesco Bosello, 2019. "Building Risk into the Mitigation/Adaptation Decisions simulated by Integrated Assessment Models," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 74(4), pages 1687-1721, December.
    17. Tyler Felgenhauer & Mort Webster, 2014. "Modeling adaptation as a flow and stock decision with mitigation," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(4), pages 665-679, February.
    18. Hertel, Thomas W. & Lobell, David B., 2014. "Agricultural adaptation to climate change in rich and poor countries: Current modeling practice and potential for empirical contributions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 562-575.
    19. Rob Dellink & Elisa Lanzi & Jean Chateau, 2019. "The Sectoral and Regional Economic Consequences of Climate Change to 2060," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 72(2), pages 309-363, February.
    20. Halkos, George, 2014. "The Economics of Climate Change Policy: Critical review and future policy directions," MPRA Paper 56841, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Alberini, Anna & Bigano, Andrea & Ščasný, Milan & Zvěřinová, Iva, 2018. "Preferences for Energy Efficiency vs. Renewables: What Is the Willingness to Pay to Reduce CO2 Emissions?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 171-185.

    More about this item


    adaptation; adaptation; adaptive capacity; capacité d’adaptation; changement climatique; climate change; integrated assessment modelling; modélisation de l’évaluation intégrée;

    JEL classification:

    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q59 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Other

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