Adaptation Measures Could Reduce Economic Impact of Climate Change, Report Finds

Easily identifiable and cost-effective measures for adapting to a warming planet could reduce potential economic losses from climate change around the globe, a new report from the Economics of Climate Adaptation Working Group finds.

The report, Shaping Climate-Resilient Development: A Framework for Decision-Making (164 pages, PDF), examined economic and climate risk factors in eight countries — China, the United States, Guyana, Mali, the United Kingdom, Samoa, India, and Tanzania — representing a wide range of climates and development stages and found that climate risks could cost nations up to 19 percent of their GDP by 2030, with developing countries the most vulnerable.

At the same time, existing adaptation measures such as improved drainage, sea barriers, and improved building codes could prevent between 40 percent and 68 percent of the expected losses. According to the report, in most countries adaptation measures would deliver economic benefits that far outweigh their costs.

The ECA Working Group was founded in 2008 with funding and leadership from the Global Environment Facility, the UN Environment Program, McKinsey & Company, ClimateWorks, the European Commission, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Standard Chartered Bank.

"Climate Change Risks Could Cost Developing Countries Up to 19% of GDP by 2030." Rockefeller Foundation Press Release 09/14/2009.