In This Chapter

State of the Art on the Economics of Adaptation

Authored by: Clemens Heuson , Erik Gawel , Paul Lehmann

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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Besides mitigation, adaptation to climate change is a natural component within any climate policy strategy that aims at minimizing total costs associated with climate change (Tol, 2005). In the view of lacking success of international negotiations on mitigation, the adaptation option becomes even more important (see e.g., Fankhauser, 2009; Pielke et al., 2007). Numerous countries have already initiated a process of adaptation by drafting strategies or action plans for public adaptation measures. 1 Hence, there is a particular need for scientific support. The discipline of economics has a key role to play in this context since it provides tools and methods for answering questions that are crucial to the adaptation policy process, such as forming and operationalizing adaptation goals, identifying adequate actors and instruments or scrutinizing interdependencies between adaptation and mitigation. The still relatively young field of research is growing at a considerable pace and already exhibits a wide range of methodological approaches and research questions. Against this background, this chapter aims to provide a systematic overview of the state of the art on the economics of adaptation – with a focus on conceptual and analytical work – and, building upon this, to outline key pointers for future research.

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