The Curious Role of Learning in Climate Policy: Should We Wait for More Data?

Given the large uncertainties regarding potential damages from climate change and the significant but also uncertain costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the debate over a policy responce is often framed as a choice of acting now or waiting until the uncertainty is reduced. I demonstrate in the general case that the ability to learn in the future can lead to either less restrictive or more restrictive policies today.

Costing Methodologies

The costs of climate change policies are estimated and their implications discussed in many parts of the IPCC’s Assessment Report. The use of consistent cost concepts across the TAR is important, in order to facilitate comparability across different cost assessment approaches. In this guidance paper, we propose a set of definitions for the different concepts and present a relation between them. We suggest that, in every case where costs are referred to, authors make clear which cost concept or concepts they are using.

Constraints and potentials of future irrigation water availability on agricultural production under climate change

We compare ensembles of water supply and demand projections from 10 global hydrological models and six global gridded crop models. These are produced as part of the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project, with coordination from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project, and driven by outputs of general circulation models run under representative concentration pathway 8.5 as part of the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project.

Global Environmental Risks

Can the existing and very extensive private sector organizations provide those at risk from climate change with adequate insurance cover? If not, why not? What changes in market institutions might be appropriate in this case? This paper is about these and related questions. In attempting to answer them, we deal with many different aspects of the theory of risk-bearing.

Early warning systems saves millions of lives. A WMO Factsheet.

Early warning systems (EWS) are a critical life-saving tool for floods, droughts, storms, bushfires and other hazards. Recorded economic losses linked to extreme hydro-meteorological events have increased nearly 50 times over the past five decades, but the global loss of life has decreased significantly, by a factor of about 10, thus millions of lives are being saved.

Climate-smart smallholder agriculture: What’s different?

There is a growing consensus that climate change is transforming the context for rural development, changing physical and socio-economic landscapes and making smallholder development more expensive. But there is less consensus on how smallholder agriculture practices should change as a result. The paper proposes three major changes.

Costs and Benefits of Disaster Risk Reduction

The ISDR secretariat commissioned three papers to guide discussions at the High Level Dialogue of the first session of the Global Platform for Disaster risk Reduction. The authors of the notes were requested to introduce the topics briefly, to provide some excerpts of cases studies, with figures, as well as highlighting some pressure points that could be addressed by the ISDR system.

Impacts of CGIAR Crop Improvement and Natural Resource Management Research: A Review of Evidence

This paper has examined the trends in funding and impacts of CGIAR research with a focus on distribution of economic benefits and sustainability of natural resources. The evidence has clearly shown that the impacts in terms of agricultural growth, poverty reduction and environmental protection continue to be impressive.

Public Health: Adapting to Climate Change.

To date, little research has addressed public policy options to frame the nation’s approach to adapt to a changing climate. In light of scientific evidence of extreme and unpredictable climate change, prudent policy requires consideration of what to do if markets and people fail to anticipate these changes, or are constrained in their ability to react. This issue brief is one in a series that results from the second phase of a domestic adaptation research project conducted by Resources for the Future.

Adaptation benefits and costs: are they important in the global policy picture and how can we estimate them?

This paper has three broad objectives. The first is to examine a little more carefully a main theme of this issue of Global Environmental namely: the usefulness of information about the global marginal benefits of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions to various groups in both developed and developing countries.