World Economic Forum Report Highlights the Cost-effectiveness of Climate Adaptation

23 January 2014: A report titled ‘Climate Adaptation: Seizing the Challenge,’ released by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Climate Change, encapsulates recent thinking on adaptation and financing, and is aimed at increasing the understanding of these issues of public and private sector decision makers.The report outlines a number of key findings, including that: up to 65% of the increase in projected economic losses due to the impacts of climate change can be avoided in a cost-effective manner through preventive adaptation investments; both mitigation and adaptation actions are required; more and better national data, as well as local data, particularly in developing countries, are needed; each component of the water-food-energy nexus must be considered when making an investment or policy decision; and a multi-stakeholder approach is crucial.

Specifically, the chapters in the report examine: metrics that determine which countries and/or regions are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; assessing the costs of climate change and identifying what measures can be taken to avoid them in a cost-effective way; how to finance those measures, for example by using public finance to leverage private funding; and the importance of investing in a holistic manner across the water-food-energy nexus.

The Global Agenda Council on Climate Change formulates recommendations to help the private and public sectors attract low-carbon investment and strengthen climate resilience. It currently focuses on measuring vulnerability to build more resilient societies and on mobilizing investment for climate actions with the potential to be scaled up.

The 44th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) took place in Davos, Switzerland, from 22-25 January 2014. [Publication: Climate Adaptation: Seizing the Challenge] [Global Agenda Council on Climate Change Website] [IISD RS Story on the World Economic Forum Meeting]

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