Distributional Impacts

Intra-national, international and inter-temporal aspects of equity in adaptation

Authored by: Alistair Hunt , Julia Ferguson

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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This chapter discusses the role of equity in the assessment of adaptation to climate change. In doing so, we consider equity in relation to the application of economic analytical concepts and metrics, thereby enabling us to explore the extent to which they are compatible. The development of climate change mitigation strategies has, of course, provided a lively decision context with which to explore the characterisation of equity alongside economic efficiency – and other criteria – in appraisal, primarily through the parameterisation of economy-climate models (Hope, 2008). It has also served to identify the role of equity in influencing decision outcomes – most obviously in the UNFCCC mitigation architecture adopted under the Kyoto Protocol that places the majority of the burden of reducing greenhouse gases in more affluent countries (known as Annex 1 countries in the Protocol). However, it is now well understood that no matter how successful global GHG mitigation efforts turn out to be in the next few decades, there will be residual risks (and opportunities) resulting from climate change that have impacts on human welfare and supporting ecosystem services (Khor, 2012).

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