Adaptation Can Help Mitigation: An Integrated Approach to Post-2012 Climate Policy
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); University of Milan - Department of Economics, Business and Statistics; Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC)
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Ca' Foscari University of Venice; CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (Climate Policy Division); IPCC; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels; Green Growth Knowledge Platform; International Center for Climate Governance
Enrica De Cian
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC)
November 10, 2011
FEEM Working Paper No. 69.2011
CMCC Research Paper No. 112
The latest round of international negotiations in Copenhagen led to a set of commitments on emission reductions which are unlikely to stabilise global warming below or around 2°C. As a consequence, in the absence of additional ambitious policy measures, adaptation will be needed to address climate-related damages. What is the role of adaptation in this setting? How is it optimally allocated across regions and time? To address these questions, this paper analyses the optimal mix of adaptation and mitigation expenditures in a cost-effective setting in which countries cooperate to achieve a long-term stabilisation target (550 CO2-eq). It uses an Integrated Assessment Model (AD-WITCH) that describes the relationships between different adaptation modes (reactive and anticipatory), mitigation, and capacity-building to analyse the optimal portfolio of adaptation measures. Results show the optimal intertemporal distribution of climate policy measures is characterised by early investments in mitigation followed by large adaptation expenditures a few decades later. Hence, the possibility to adapt does not justify postponing mitigation, although it reduces its costs. Mitigation and adaptation are thus shown to be complements rather than substitutes.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Climate Change Impacts, Mitigation, Adaptation, Integrated Assessment Model
JEL Classification: Q54, Q56, Q43
Date posted: November 10, 2011 ; Last revised: May 12, 2013
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