Research 140: ADAPT: Quantifying the Costs and Benefits Associated with Climate Change Risks and Adaptation

Summary: This report sets out the findings of the ADAPT Project. The objectives of the project were to examine the role that economic appraisal methods, including cost–benefit analysis (CBA), can play in the choice of adaptation options, and to make recommendations on possible approaches.

Published: 2015

ISBN: 978-1-84095-572-9

Pages: 68

Filesize: 1,148KB

Format: pdf

Download now

Given the inevitability of some degree of climate change and the slow progress that is being made in reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses, the case for adaptation strategies is receiving more attention at international level and in policy and guidance documents produced by the likes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the European Environment Agency and the European Commission.

This report sets out the findings of the ADAPT Project. The objectives of the project were to examine the role that economic appraisal methods, including cost– benefit analysis (CBA), can play in the choice of adaptation options, and to make recommendations on possible approaches.

The specific aims of the project were to:

  • Formulate methods to allow decision makers to choose between adaptation options in the face of climate and socio-economic uncertainty; 
  • Develop guidelines for the application of economic appraisal methods to adaptation choices;
  • Test a decision support tool with a case study; and
  • Recommend how economic appraisal methods can be incorporated into adaptation frameworks.

This report describes current thinking with regard to climate projections and adaptation. It finds that climate modelling has come to acknowledge the considerable uncertainty attached to future projections. In this context, conventional methods of policy or project appraisal, including CBA, will continue to have a role, but within a wider framework of adaptive risk management.