Economics of Adaptation in Low-Income Countries

Authored by: Rodney Lunduka , Saleemul Huq , Muyeye Chambwera , Mintewab Bezabih , Corinne Baulcomb

Routledge Handbook of the Economics of Climate Change Adaptation

Print publication date:  January  2014
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415633116
eBook ISBN: 9780203095201
Adobe ISBN: 9781136212123


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Even if current greenhouse gas emissions are reduced drastically, broad scientific consensus claims that climate change will continue over the next several decades (IPCC, 2007). Currently, the impact of climate change has been reducing agricultural output, industrial output, economic growth, and aggregate investment (Dell et al., 2008) in addition to loss of lives, property, culture and social norms. These have been and are anticipated to be greatest in low-income countries where most of the world’s poorest people live (Parry et al., 2009; World Bank, 2010a), particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and in parts of South Asia. Clements (2009) estimated that the potential economic costs of climate change for Africa for example, will be 1.5–3 percent of its GDP by 2030. This presents a huge negative impact, first, due to the low-income countries’ initial poverty and their relatively high dependence on environmental capital for their livelihoods (Dercon, 2011). Secondly, negative climate change impacts in the poor world are aggravated by lack of adaptive capacity, lack of political will and limited access to climate finances (Atta-Krah, 2012).

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