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 BoselloUniversity of Milan, FEEM - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, CMCC - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change
  • Carlo CarraroUniversity Ca’ Foscari Venice, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research, CESifo - Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research, FEEM - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, CMCC - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change
  • Enrica De CianUniversity Ca’ Foscari Venice, FEEM - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, CMCC - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change
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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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