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Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Studies on Adaptation Costs

The past week as seen two new studies related to the costs of adaptation in the developing world. The first is the World Bank's Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change Study which is argued to be the most up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of adaptation costs. The study estimates that adaptation costs in the developing world will be on the order of US$75 to $100 billion per year between 2010 and 2050, assuming two degrees of warming (with the range reflecting different assumptions about changes in rainfall). Granted, the costs in the developed world will likely far exceed those for the developing world, but in any case, no one has yet determined how any nation, much less the international community, will cover these costs.

The second study is the latest release from the International Food Policy Research Institute and addresses climate change impacts and adaptation in the agriculture sector. Climate Change: Impacts on Agriculture and Adaptation Costs projects significant declines in irrigated and non-irrigated crops in the developing world, particularly South Asia. These impacts will result in an increase in child malnutrition by up to 20% by 2050. To avoid this outcome, significant investments on the order of US$7 billion annually are needed to offset the adverse impacts of climate change on malnutrition.

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