RP0112 – Adaptation Can Help Mitigation: An Integrated Approach to Post-2012 Climate Policy

Division ECIP - Economic analysis of Climate Impacts and Policy Division
11/2011

Authors

  • Francesco BoselloCMCC - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, FEEM - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, University of Milan
  • Carlo CarraroCESifo - Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research, CMCC - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research, FEEM - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, University Ca’ Foscari Venice
  • Enrica De CianCMCC - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, FEEM - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, University Ca’ Foscari Venice
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The latest round of international negotiations in Copenhagen led to a set of commitments on emission reduction which are unlikely to stabilise global warming below or around 2◦C. As a consequence, in the absence of additional ambitious policy measures, adaptation will be needed to address climate related damages. What is the role of adaptation in this setting? How is it optimally allocated across regions and time? To address these questions, this paper analyses the optimal mix of adaptation and mitigation expenditures in a cost-effective setting in which countries cooperate to achieve a long-term stabilisation target (550 CO2-eq). It uses an Integrated Assessment Model (AD-WITCH) that describes the relationships between different adaptation modes (reactive and anticipatory), mitigation, and capacity building to analyse the optimal portfolio of adaptation measures. Results show the optimal intertemporal distribution of climate policy measures is characterised by early investments in mitigation followed by large adaptation expenditures a few decades later. Hence, the possibility to adapt does not justify postponing mitigation, although it reduces its costs. Mitigation and adaptation are thus shown to be complements rather than substitutes.

 

  • issn: Q54,Q56,Q43
  • Keywords: adaptation, climate change impacts, integrated assessment model, mitigation

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