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Weathering climate change: some simple rules to guide adaptation decisions

By Samuel Fankhauser, Joel B. Smith and Richard S. J. Tol


This paper discusses some of the elements that may characterise an efficient strategy to adapt to a changing climate. Such a strategy will have to reflect the long time horizon of, and the prevailing uncertainties about, climate change. An intuitively appealing approach therefore seems to be to enhance the flexibility and resilience of systems to react to and cope with climate shocks and extremes, as well as to improve information. In addition, in the case of quasi-irreversible investments with a long lifetime (e.g. infrastructure investments, development of coastal zones), precautionary adjustments may be called for to increase the robustness of structures, or to increase the rate of depreciation to allow for earlier replacement. Many of these measures may already have to be considered now, and could be worthwhile in their own right, independent of climate change considerations

Topics: GE Environmental Sciences, HB Economic Theory, JA Political science (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 1999
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0921-8009(98)00117-7
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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