IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

17.2.3 Assessment of adaptation costs and benefits

The literature on adaptation costs and benefits remains quite limited and fragmented in terms of sectoral and regional coverage. Adaptation costs are usually expressed in monetary terms, while benefits are typically quantified in terms of avoided climate impacts, and expressed in monetary as well as non-monetary terms (e.g., changes in yield, welfare, population exposed to risk). There is a small methodological literature on the assessment of costs and benefits in the context of climate change adaptation (Fankhauser, 1996; Smith, 1997; Fankhauser et al., 1998; Callaway, 2004; Toman, 2006). In addition there are a number of case studies that look at adaptation options for particular sectors (e.g., Shaw et al., 2000, for sea-level rise); or particular countries (e.g., Smith et al., 1998, for Bangladesh; World Bank, 2000, for Fiji and Kiribati; Dore and Burton, 2001, for Canada).

Much of the literature on adaptation costs and benefits is focused on sea-level rise (e.g., Fankhauser, 1995a; Yohe and Schlesinger, 1998; Nicholls and Tol, 2006) and agriculture (e.g., Rosenzweig and Parry, 1994; Adams et al., 2003; Reilly et al., 2003). Adaptation costs and benefits have also been assessed in a more limited manner for energy demand (e.g., Morrison and Mendelsohn, 1999; Sailor and Pavlova, 2003; Mansur et al., 2005), water resource management (e.g., Kirshen et al., 2004), and transportation infrastructure (e.g., Dore and Burton, 2001). In terms of regional coverage, there has been a focus on the United States and other OECD countries (e.g., Fankhauser, 1995a; Yohe et al., 1996; Mansur et al., 2005; Franco and Sanstad, 2006), although there is now a growing literature for developing countries also (e.g., Butt et al., 2005; Callaway et al., 2006; Nicholls and Tol, 2006).