Proportionate adaptation

TitleProportionate adaptation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsHall, JW, Brown, S, Nicholls, RJ, Pidgeon, N, Watson, RT
JournalNature Climate change
Start Page833
Date Published11/2012
Type of ArticleCommentary

Adaptation is intended to reduce the harmful impacts of climate change. We expect to incur fewer climate-related losses after adaptation, so we are prepared to bear some cost to obtain the benefits of adaptation. The costs of adaptation take many forms, including the up-front expenses of building infrastructure, installing early warning systems and establishing effective institutions, but also the environmental impacts of some adaptations and the costs of foregoing development opportunities in locations at high risk, such as coastal floodplains. Economic theory suggests that we should be willing to pay for adaptation up to a point at which the marginal benefit of an increment of risk reduction is equal to the cost of buying that increment (Fig. 1).