2008 - Foreign publications
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2008 - Foreign publications

Assessing Climate Change Impacts, Sea level Rise and Storm Surge Risk in Port Cities: A Case Study on Copenhagen

Hallegate S. et al
OECD Environment Working Papers, No. 3 OECD 2008

With current defences most of Copenhagen is protected against all possible storm surges. An exception is the south western part of the agglomeration (including the stretch in Hvidovre), which is only protected against the 120-yr event. The current defences are able to face significant sea level rise, but upgrades will be needed in a few decades in some important locations, including the harbour and the city historical centre. The costs of upgrades are significant lower than the avoided damage costs. The upgrades need to be anticipated well in advance. Even with adequate defences, sea level rise will increase flood exposure, magnifying the consequences of any defence failure. This increase in exposure will make it even more necessary to carefully maintain the defences and to create effective disaster emergency and recovery plans. Adaptation and upgrades in flood defences are the most efficient tools to reduce sea level rise losses over the short and medium terms. Over the long term, however, only mitigation can limit sea level rise to levels that are manageable with dikes and sea walls.

Economic Aspects of Adaptation to Climate Change
Costs, Benefits and Policy Instruments

OECD 2008
Free download of summary, but the whole report costs money.

The report provides an assessment of adaptation costs and benefits in key climate sensitive sectors, as well as at national and global levels. It moves the discussion beyond cost estimation to the potential and limits of economic and policy instruments - including insurance and risk sharing, environmental markets and pricing, and public private partnerships - that can be used to motivate adaptation actions. The report cautions that recent headline estimates on the global price-tag for adaptation face serious limitations. In addition, the few available studies have tended to stack upon the assumptions made in preceding studies. Therefore, a consensus, even in order of magnitude terms, is premature and may be misleading. The report calls for a raft of policy instruments to establish the right incentives to ensure that adaptation is timely, well-informed and efficient. Setting up the right incentive and partnership structures to promote adaptation, however, will be a daunting
task.  Adaptation to climate change as a public policy challenge has only just emerged.

Costs of Inaction on Environmental on Environmental Policy Challenges: Summary Report, OECD 2008
The report summarises available evidence on the costs of inaction in four key areas, including climate change. The existing literature suggests very strongly that the costs of policy inaction in selected areas can be considerable -- in some cases, representing a significant "drag" on OECD economies. Although OECD governments have, for many years, developed policies to address these challenges, much work remains to be done. In particular, work should be intensified to reduce some of the uncertainties involved in defining and measuring the marginal costs of inaction, so that eventual comparisons with the marginal costs of action can be as robust as possible.

The Economics of Climate Change Impacts and Policy Benefits at City Scale: A Conceptual Framework
Hallegate S. et al
OECD Environment Working Papers, No. 4 OECD 2008

The report explores the city-scale risks of climate change and the local benefits of both adaptation policies and (global) mitigation strategies. The report stresses the need for global macroeconomic projections and projections of emission of greenhouse and investigates how to develop regional climate forecast from the global forecast by using specific downscaling methods. The report is one in a series under the OECD Environment Directorate's project on Cities and Climate Change.

Estimating the Economic Cost of Sea-Level Rise
Masahiro Sugiyama, Robert J. Nicholls and Athanasios Vafeidis
MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change,  Report No. 156 2008

The report generalizes the sea-level rise cost function and applies it to a new database on coastal vulnerability (DIVA). An analytic expression for the generalized sea-level rise cost function is obtained to explore the effect of various spatial distributions of capital and nonlinear sea-level rise scenarios. The new equation reduces the estimated damage and protection fraction through discounting of the costs in later periods. The effect of capital concentration substantially decreases protection cost and capital loss compared with previous studies, but not wetland loss. The use of a nonlinear sea-level rise scenario further reduces the total cost because the cost is postponed into the future.

Climate Chance Impacts and Adaptation Strategies in Italy An Economic Assessment
Carlo Carraro and Alessandra Sgobbi
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei  2008
Working paper 6 2008

The economic value of the impacts of climate change is assessed for different Italian economic sectors and regions. Sectorial and regional impacts are then aggregated to provide a macroeconomic estimate of variations in GDP induced by climate change in the next decades. Autonomous adaptation induced by changes in relative prices and in stocks of natural and economic resources is fully taken into account. The model also considers international trade effects. Results show that in Italy aggregate GDP losses induced by climate change are likely to be small. However, some economic sectors (e.g. tourism) and the alpine regions will suffer significant economic damages.