January 9, 2011

Adapting and Mitigating to Climate Change: Balancing the Choice under Uncertainty

by Francesco Bosello and Chen Chen

- Nowadays, as stressed by important strategic documents like for instance the 2009 EU White Paper on Adaptation or the recent 2009 "Copenhagen Accord", it is amply recognized that both mitigation and adaptation strategies are necessary to combat climate change. This paper enriches the rapidly expanding literature trying to devise normative indications on the optimal combination of the two introducing the role of catastrophic and spatial uncertainty related to climate change damages. Applying a modified version of the Nordhaus’ Regional Dynamic Integrated Model of Climate and the Economy it is shown that in both cases uncertainty works in the direction to make mitigation a more attractive strategy than adaptation.

Bosello, F. and C. Chen (2010). "Adapting and Mitigating to Climate Change: Balancing the Choice under Uncertainty." FEEM Note di lavoro No. 2010.159, Dec 2010.