July 2015: Our Common Future under Climate Change Scientific Conference, Paris

Presenting at a joint session hosted by the OECD and the ECONADAPT project, members of the research consortium presented the latest findings on the cost and benefits of adaptation in developing countries, drawing on a major review and synthesis on the costs and benefits of adaptation in developing countries (WP1/9), undertaken by the project (Paul Watkiss, Alistair Hunt, Jenny Troeltzsch, Josselin Rouillard and Manuel Lago).

In summary, while recent reviews (IPCC, 2014) have identified a low evidence base in this area, the last few years have seen a growing number of national initiatives and risk and sector specific studies. Over 500 relevant studies have been identified, and a growing number of these are in developing countries. The workshop presented a review of this evidence base, focusing on estimates and insights for least developed and middle income countries. It starts with a mapping of studies, both geographically and by risk. This shows the coverage of adaptation costs and benefits has increased when compared to previous reviews. The geographical coverage now includes Africa, South and Central America and Asia, though there remain some important regional gaps. The coverage of risks has also increased: there is a very large literature on coastal zone adaptation, and increasing studies on water management, floods and agriculture. Major gaps remain, however, for ecosystems and business/industry.