Analysing trade-offs between development and adaptation

Context

Decisions about adaptation strategies necessarily involve assumptions about the future – both assumptions about factors that cannot be influenced by decisions makers (such as future climate change impacts), and factors that are under control of decision makers (such as spatial planning, which influences the value at risk from climate change). These assumptions are necessarily fraught with uncertainty, which makes it necessary to incorporate uncertainties into the decision making process in a transparent way.

Fiscal consequences of extreme weather risks in Europe

Context

Given the ongoing societal debate over what might be the most favourable course of action in terms of adaption and risk management, cost-benefits, acceptability, viability and any other implications of adaptation policies should be evaluated within the context of other pressing longer-term structural issues, such as the ‘greening’ of tax and investment, population ageing and longer-term sustainable growth at the regional and global level.

Treatment of future learning: Acceptable Risks Analysis

Context

Adaptation must be dynamic because preferences may vary with time and new or improved climate information and technologies may become available. Taking into account flexibility (e.g. of infrastructure design) and future learning (e.g. improved knowledge) into adaptation strategies can be very valuable to support decision-making under uncertainty (Chambwera et al., 2014).

Integrating distributional objectives in the cost:benefit analysis of adaptation options

Context

In adopting measures to adapt to climate change, adaptation options need to be based on robust assessment approaches which allow for the allocation of scarce resources. An important part of this process involves determining the costs and benefits of adaptation options in order to reduce vulnerability, enhance adaptive capacity and build resilience.

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