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International Trade and the Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability

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  • Oliver Schenker
  • Gunter Stephan

Abstract

This paper has three messages mainly, which are observed in a simple model of climate change, international trade and regional adaptation. First, trade can be viewed as a kind of adaptation to climate change and variability, as trade can help to reduce direct impacts of global climate change on a region’s welfare. In particular, the less affected and the richer nations are, the more they can profit from moderating the impacts of global climate change through trade. Second, if regions are rich enough to adapt optimally to climate change, the resulting allocation of adaptation measures is Pareto-efficient. In this case funding of adap-tation, which is an element of international climate policy, does not make sense from an economic perspective. Finally and third, since the regions of the South typically lack the re-sources for adapting optimally to climate change, because of terms of trade effects, it might be in the self-interest of the industrialized nations to fund adaptation in the developing part of the world. However, providing financial assistance for adaptation can be Pareto-improving only, if the benefits of funding, i.e., damages, which are moderated through adaptation, are big enough, and hence, if the recipient’s own expenditure for adaptation is low. If not, the paradoxical effect of recipient immiserization through tied transfers can occur.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Schenker & Gunter Stephan, 2012. "International Trade and the Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability," Diskussionsschriften dp1201, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  • Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp1201
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Calvin Atewamba & Edward R Rhodes, 2020. "Biophysical and Economic Factors of Climate Change Impact Chain in the Agriculture Sector of ECOWAS," Chapters, in: Abdelhadi Makan (ed.), Environmental Health - Management and Prevention Practices, IntechOpen.
    2. Seraina Buob & Gunter Stephan, 2013. "On The Incentive Compatibility Of Funding Adaptation," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(02), pages 1-18.
    3. Oberlack, Christoph & Eisenack, Klaus, 2012. "Overcoming barriers to urban adaptation through international cooperation? Modes and design properties under the UNFCCC," The Constitutional Economics Network Working Papers 03-2012, University of Freiburg, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory.
    4. 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.
    5. Aklesso Y. G. Egbendewe & Boris Odilon Kounagbè Lokonon & Calvin Atewemba & Naga Coulibaly, 2017. "Can intra-regional food trade increase food availability in the context of global climatic change in West Africa?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 101-116, November.
    6. Dissanayake, Sumali & Mahadevan, Renuka & Asafu-Adjaye, John, 2019. "Is there a role for trade liberalization in mitigating the impacts of climate change on agriculture?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 307-324.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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