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Universal Metrics to Compare the Effectiveness of Climate Change Adaptation Projects


Stadelmann, Martin; Michaelowa, Axel; Butzengeiger-Geyer, Sonja; Köhler, Michel (2015). Universal Metrics to Compare the Effectiveness of Climate Change Adaptation Projects. In: Leal Filho, Walter. Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. Cham: Springer VS, 2143-2160.

Abstract

Adaptation to climate change is increasingly supported through international financing. In contrast to mitigation, where the effectiveness of policy action can be measured through the metric “tonnes of CO2 equivalent reduced,” no universally accepted metric for assessment of adaptation effectiveness exists. Without such a metric, adaptation finance vehicles such as the Adaptation Fund or the Green Climate Fund encounter challenges when trying to compare the adaptive effect of projects in order to achieve an efficient allocation of their funds. First experiences with adaptation funding show a tendency to avoid final impact metrics. This might lead to a backlash against adaptation funding by electorates in industrialized countries if adaptation funding cannot show clear results. This report assesses two possible candidates for generic adaptation effectiveness metrics: (1) wealth saved from climate change impacts and (2) disability-adjusted life years saved (DALYs), which are widely used in public health policy analysis. Apart it is proposed to use no-harm assessments to evaluate environmental and cultural impacts of adaptation projects. The authors discuss uncertainties encountered in applying these metrics, including the uncertain link between commonly reported intermediate indicators and our metrics and ideas to handle such, e.g., the use of regularly updated methodologies and agreed climate and economic models.

Abstract

Adaptation to climate change is increasingly supported through international financing. In contrast to mitigation, where the effectiveness of policy action can be measured through the metric “tonnes of CO2 equivalent reduced,” no universally accepted metric for assessment of adaptation effectiveness exists. Without such a metric, adaptation finance vehicles such as the Adaptation Fund or the Green Climate Fund encounter challenges when trying to compare the adaptive effect of projects in order to achieve an efficient allocation of their funds. First experiences with adaptation funding show a tendency to avoid final impact metrics. This might lead to a backlash against adaptation funding by electorates in industrialized countries if adaptation funding cannot show clear results. This report assesses two possible candidates for generic adaptation effectiveness metrics: (1) wealth saved from climate change impacts and (2) disability-adjusted life years saved (DALYs), which are widely used in public health policy analysis. Apart it is proposed to use no-harm assessments to evaluate environmental and cultural impacts of adaptation projects. The authors discuss uncertainties encountered in applying these metrics, including the uncertain link between commonly reported intermediate indicators and our metrics and ideas to handle such, e.g., the use of regularly updated methodologies and agreed climate and economic models.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Environmental Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Business, Management and Accounting
Language:English
Date:1 January 2015
Deposited On:26 May 2023 13:30
Last Modified:29 Mar 2024 04:40
Publisher:Springer VS
ISBN:9783642386695
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-38670-1_128