Assessing the Costs of Adaptation to Climate Change: A Review of the UNFCCC and other Recent Estimates

This report reviews the costs of adapting to climate change in a range of sectors. It aims to demonstrate the uncertainties of current cost estimates for climate change adaptation. The review examines these costs at the sector level, including several sectors which had previously not been fully considered in cost estimates - and advocates for further refinement of these estimates.

Sectors assessed in the report include: energy, ecosystems, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, water, human health, coasts, and infrastructure. Using tables, charts, and other illustrations, each chapter examines the current estimates of adaptation costs for a specific sector. The chapters review the assumptions, issues, methodologies, and case studies which contributed to the estimates. Each sector review concludes with an assessment of the accuracy of the current cost estimates.

The report concludes that the estimates for 2030 used by the UNFCC are likely to be substantial under-estimates of the real costs of climate adaptation. It also states the need for residual damages to be evaluated and reported in order to obtain a more accurate assessment of the costs of adapting to climate change. It recommends they be assessed through case studies of costs of adaptation in specific locations and sectors. 




Publication Date: August 2009

Related Organizations:

  • International Institute for Environment and Development


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment


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