Dannenberg, Astrid Mennel, Tim Osberghaus, Daniel Sturm, Bodo
Year of Publication:
ZEW Discussion Papers 09-057
Given the ubiquitous scarcity of resources an economic approach is necessary in order to determine an optimal strategy of adaptation to climate change. In this paper we develop an economic framework for the study of adaptation which allows us to distinguish between decentralized adaptation by private agents on the one hand and centralized adaptation measures by public authorities on the other. The approach is based on the paradigm of market failure and is complemented by two further grounds of government action, equity concerns and security of supply. We identify open research questions in the nascent field of adaptation to climate change requiring further empirical investigation. The economic framework is applied to adaptation in Germany by analyzing impacts and adaptation options for climate-sensitive fields such as agriculture, energy, water, and public health.