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Assessing Climate Change Impacts, Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Risk in Port Cities: A Case Study on Copenhagen


  • Stéphane Hallegatte

    (Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement)

  • Nicola Patmore

    (Risk Managment Solutions Limited)

  • Olivier Mestre

    (Ecole Nationale de la Météorologie, Météo France)

  • Patrice Dumas

    (Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement)

  • Jan Corfee-Morlot


  • Celine Herweijer

    (Risk Managment Solutions Limited)

  • Robert Muir-Wood

    (Risk Managment Solutions Limited)


This study illustrates a methodology to assess economic impacts of climate change at city scale, focusing on sea level rise and storm surge. It is based on a statistical analysis of past storm surges in the studied city, matched to a geographical-information analysis of the population and asset exposure in the city, for various sea levels and storm surge characteristics. An assessment of direct losses in case of storm surge (i.e. of the damages to buildings and building content) can then be computed and the corresponding indirect losses – in the form of production and job losses, reconstruction duration, amongst other loses – deduced, allowing a risk analysis of the effectiveness of coastal flood protections, including risk changes due to climate change and sea level rise. This methodology is applied in the city of Copenhagen, capital of Denmark, which is potentially vulnerable to the effects of variability in sea level, as a low lying city....

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane Hallegatte & Nicola Patmore & Olivier Mestre & Patrice Dumas & Jan Corfee-Morlot & Celine Herweijer & Robert Muir-Wood, 2008. "Assessing Climate Change Impacts, Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Risk in Port Cities: A Case Study on Copenhagen," OECD Environment Working Papers 3, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:3-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hallegatte, Stephane & Hourcade, Jean-Charles & Dumas, Patrice, 2007. "Why economic dynamics matter in assessing climate change damages: Illustration on extreme events," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 330-340, April.
    2. Nicola Ranger & Stéphane Hallegatte & Sumana Bhattacharya & Murthy Bachu & Satya Priya & K. Dhore & Farhat Rafique & P. Mathur & Nicolas Naville & Fanny Henriet & Celine Herweijer & Sanjib Pohit & Jan, 2011. "An assessment of the potential impact of climate change on flood risk in Mumbai," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 139-167, January.
    3. Stéphane Hallegatte & Fanny Henriet & Jan Corfee-Morlot, 2011. "The economics of climate change impacts and policy benefits at city scale: a conceptual framework," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 51-87, January.
    4. Susan Hanson & Robert Nicholls & N. Ranger & S. Hallegatte & J. Corfee-Morlot & C. Herweijer & J. Chateau, 2011. "A global ranking of port cities with high exposure to climate extremes," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 89-111, January.
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    CIS; climate change; global warming; government policy; natural disasters; sustainable development;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • 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
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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