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The economics of climate change adaptation (ECONADAPT)


The ECONADAPT project developed a policy led approach to frame the research and policy analysis. This focuses on the practical application of adaptation economics to near-term adaptation decisions for both the short- and the longer-term, using iterative risk management and prioritising low-regret options.

The project collated the knowledge base on the costs and benefits of adaptation. This evidence has evolved significantly in recent years, with a greater coverage of risks, sectors and countries, though important gaps remain in many areas. ECONADAPT made methodological advances in a range of areas. It developed adaptation economic methods for assessing adaptive capacity, undertaken primary survey work to understand public preferences for adaptation, and developed methods for the scaling, transfer and aggregation of cost and benefit values. It also applied decision making under uncertainty to adaptation economics, reviewing and producing summary information on methods, and undertaking example applications.

Developed methodological advances were applied to a series of policy domains, considering the major priorities for adaptation economics over the next decade. ECONADAPT considered the bottom-up costs and benefits of addressing the increased frequency of weather related disasters from climate change, and complemented this with analysis of the fiscal consequences of climate change exacerbating current national level disasters. It developed guidance for economic project appraisal and undertaken practical case studies that consider river flooding and sea-level rise. It also developed guidance for policy appraisal (impact assessment), looking at the development of mainstreaming with a case study in the agriculture sector.

Moreover, ECONADAPT looked at the wider economic effects of both market-driven and planned adaptation, undertaking macro-economic modelling to assess the economic consequences of adaptation from a top-down perspective. It also developed the project and policy appraisal frameworks for application in the developing country context, particularly in relation to international climate finance, and undertaken a series of practical case studies to demonstrate the application.

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Project information


University of Bath


The ECONADAPT consortium brings together many of the leading research and policy teams pioneering adaptation economics in Europe, led by the Economics Department at the University of Bath (UK): Ecologic Institut (Germany), BC3 Basque Centre for Climate Change - Klima Aldaketa Ikergai (Spain), Internationales Institut fuer Angewandte Systemanalyse (Austria), Stichting VU-VUMC (Netherlands), Potsdam Institut fuer Klimafolgenforschung (Germany), Agricultural University of Athens (Greece), Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut (Denmark), Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (Italy), Wageningen University (Netherlands), University of East Anglia (UK), Paul Watkiss Associates Ltd (UK), Univerzita Karlova v Praze (Czech Republic), JRC -Joint Research Centre (European Commission).

Source of funding

EU - FP7

Reference information


Published in Climate-ADAPT Jan 14 2021   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Dec 12 2023

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