Adaptation is a dynamic process, which starts with the consideration of current climate variability and considers future climate change over longer periods of time. The effective treatment of uncertainties associated with these multiple time horizons is a critical component of adaptation decision-making. The ECONADAPT Toolbox presents guidance on a range of available methods that can be used to factor in these dimensions and support adaptation decision-making.

Well suited for
Commonly used in
Dealing with uncertainty
  • Low and no regret options in the near future
  • Where clear market values can be used
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Energy
  • Water and coastal management
  • Transport
  • Does not explicitly deal with uncertainty
  • Can be combined with sensitivity testing and probabilistic modelling
  • Short-term adaptation
  • Where benefits should be examined in non-monetary terms
  • Where pre-defined objectives must be achieved
  • Health
  • Civil protection
  • Biodiversity protection
  • Does not explicitly deal with uncertainty
  • Can be combined with sensitivity testing and probabilistic modelling
  • The appraisal of large capital investment over the medium term
  • Where information on climate risk probabilities is available
  • When future changes in operation are possible

Few applications exist, but include:

  • Construction
  • Regional planning
  • Energy
  • Forestry
  • Agriculture
  • Deals explicitly with uncertainty by analysing the performance of adaptation for different potential futures
  • The appraisal of investments over long time-scales
  • Where large uncertainties exist
  • Where a mix of quantitative and qualitative information needs to be considered

Few applications, but these include:

  • Water and coastal management
  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Health
  • Construction
  • Civil protection
  • Deals explicitly with uncertainty
  • Analyses the performance of adaptation for different potential futures
  • Policy appraisal over medium-long-term
  • When there are clear risk thresholds
  • Water management
  • Coastal management
  • Agriculture
  • Health
  • Forestry
  • Deals explicitly with uncertainty
  • Promotes iterative analysis, monitoring, evaluation and learning
  • When a number of complementary adaptation actions are possible
  • When good economic and climate information exist

Few applications, but these include:

  • Water and coastal management
  • Forestry
  • Health
  • Fisheries
  • Agriculture
  • Biodiversity protection
  • Deals explicitly with uncertainty
  • Examines the complementarity of adaptation options for dealing with future climates
  • Scoping options
  • Where a mix of quantitative and qualitative data needs to be considered
  • Water and coastal management
  • Agriculture
  • Biodiversity protection
  • Can integrate uncertainty as an assessment criterion
  • Relies on subjective expert judgement or stakeholder opinion