New paper on A typology for analysing mitigation and adaptation win-win strategies

A sustainability transition in line with achieving global climate goals requires the implementation of win-win strategies (WWS), i.e. socioeconomic activities that enable economic gains while simultaneously contributing to climate change mitigation or adaptation measures. Such strategies are discussed in a variety of scientific communities, such as sustainability science, industrial ecology and symbiosis and circular economy. However, existing analyses of win-win strategies tend to take a systems perspective, while paying less attention to the specific actors and activities, or their interconnections, which are implicated in win-win strategies. Moreover, they hardly address adaptation WWS. To address these gaps and support the identification and enhancement of WWS for entrepreneurs and policy-makers, we propose a typology of WWS based on the concept of a value-consumption chain, which typically connects several producers with at least one consumer of a good or service. A consideration of these connections allows an evaluation of economic effects in a meso-economic perspective. We distinguish 34 different types of WWS of companies, households and the state, for which 23 real-world examples are identified. Further, contrary to prevailing views on the lack of a business case for adaptation, we do identify real-world adaptation WWS, though they remain underrepresented compared with mitigation WWS. Our typology can be used as an entry point for transdisciplinary research integrating assessment of individual transformative socioeconomic activities and highly aggregated approaches assessing, e.g. the macro-economic effects of WWS.

The online version of the paper is accessible here

New paper on Economic motivation for raising coastal flood defenses in Europe

Extreme sea levels (ESLs) in Europe could rise by as much as one metre or more by the end of this century due to climate change. This poses significant challenges to safeguard coastal communities. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of economically efficient protection scenarios along Europe’s coastlines during the present century. We employ a probabilistic framework that integrates dynamic simulations of all ESL components and flood inundation, impact modelling and a cost-benefit analysis of raising dykes. We find that at least 83% of flood damages in Europe could be avoided by elevating dykes in an economically efficient way along 23.7%-32.1% of Europe’s coastline, specifically where high value conurbations exist. The European mean benefit to cost ratio of the investments varies from 8.3 to 14.9 while at country level this ranges between 1.6 and 34.3, with higher efficiencies for a scenario with high-end greenhouse gas emissions and strong socio-economic growth.

The online version of the paper is accessible here

The interview with Priv. -Doz. Dr. habil Jochen Hinkel is accessible here

New paper on The effectiveness of setback zones for adapting to sea-level rise in Croatia

The Mediterranean coastal zone is particularly vulnerable to climate-induced sea-level rise due to rapid coastal development, leading to increased flood exposure in coastal areas. In Croatia, the share of developed coastline is still lower than in other Mediterranean countries, but development has accelerated since the 1960s. Available assessments of future coastal flood risk take into account adaptation by hard structural protection measures but do not consider other options, such as retreat from exposed areas or restricting future development. In this study, we provide the first assessment of the effects of setback zones on future coastal flood impacts on national scale. We extend the flood impact and adaptation module of the DIVA modelling framework with models of restricted future development and slow retreat (managed realignment) in the form of setback zones. We apply this model to a downscaled database of coastal segments of the coastline of Croatia. We find that setback zones are an effective and efficient measure for coastal adaptation. Construction restriction and managed realignment reduce the future cost of coastal flooding significantly, especially in combination with protection. If protection and construction restriction by setback zones are combined, the future cost of coastal flooding can be reduced by up to 39%. Combining protection and managed realignment by setback zones can reduce the future cost of coastal flooding by up to 93%.

The online version of the paper is accessible here

Coronabonds: Welche Geschichte will Deutschland schreiben?

On March 31, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte used an interview on German TV to tell German citizens that in the corona crisis we are not writing an economics textbook, we are writing history. He insisted that Europe needs Coronabonds as an exceptional instrument to finance the measures required to tackle the pandemic together with the economic breakdown the pandemic is causing worldwide. While many prominent voices in Germany concur, the German government is determined to block this proposal. The following statement argues that this is would indeed be a historical mistake. As the text is a short-term intervention directed at a German audience, it is written in German. A related English text will be available later on.

Read Carlo Jaeger’s take HERE

New Paper on Responding to Sea Level Rise

The scale of the SLR challenge is immense and strong mitigation efforts are needed to avoid multiple meters of SLR within the next few centuries, which will be unmanageable for many coastal regions of the world. But even with such efforts, sea levels will continue to rise for decades and centuries to come. Thus coastal adaptation is essential in any future, but it will be much easier and more likely to be successful when combined with stringent mitigation. The important thing is to start exploring long-term adaptive strategies now if they are not already initiated.

The online version of the paper “Responding to Sea Level Rise” is accessible here

New GCF Working Paper (01/20): ABOUT THE EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL

Acess the full Working Paper on the European Green Deal here

With the personnel change at the top of both the European Commission and the European Central Bank, a Green Deal for Europe has been put on the agenda. To be politically feasible and socially acceptable, the European Green Deal needs to reduce not only emissions but also unemployment { especially youth unemployment { and regional as well as social inequality throughout Europe. This is possible if the Green Deal shifts the EU economy to a new development path. To provide an example showing feasibility, our paper presents a structure for the Green Deal based on large scale additional investments, in the order of 1% of GDP annually. It outlines how these can be funded, and estimates eff ects in terms of reaching the goals. An essential point is that the resources must be used in such a way as to trigger a renewal of the European innovation system; while being a challenge, the European Green Deal can thus also become an opportunity – and may be the only opportunity – to reach a carbon neutral European economy by 2050 and to revert the trend of decreasing social cohesion in Europe much earlier.

Acess the full Working Paper on the European Green Deal here

The added value of real options analysis for climate change adaptation

Climate change adaptation investment decisions can be made more efficiently if uncertainty and new information are considered in their economic appraisal. Real options analysis (ROA) is a robust decision-making tool that allows for the incorporation of both uncertainty and new information. In this opinion article, we argue that ROA is a valuable tool, providing the analysis is designed to reflect the real-world characteristics of the decision context. We highlight the differences between traditional risk-based ROA, and scenario-based ROA, and discuss the relative merits of the approaches from the perspective of their assumptions and use of climate information.

The online version of the paper “The added value of real options analysis for climate change adaptation” is accessible here

New Essay on Extended Evolutionary Dynamics in the Technosphere by GCF’s Co-Chairman Manfred Laubichler

By going through the transitions in cell evolution and energy regimes, evolutionary biologist Manfred Laubichler explains the dynamics behind the formation of the metabolic activity and complexity of our planet…

New Paper on User Needs for Sea Level Rise

“Meeting User Needs for Sea Level Rise Information: A Decision Analysis Perspective”

Despite widespread efforts to implement climate services, there is almost no literature that systematically analyzes users’ needs. This paper addresses this gap by applying a decision analysis perspective to identify what kind of mean sea level rise (SLR) information is needed for local coastal adaptation decisions. We first characterize these decisions, then identify suitable decision analysis approaches and the sea level information required, and finally discuss if and how these information needs can be met given the state of the art of sea level science.

The online version of the paper “Meeting User Needs for Sea Level Rise Information: A Decision Analysis Perspective”  is accessible here

Updated Version of GCF Working Paper “Framing 1.5°C” on SSRN

[by S. Wolf, C. Jaeger, J. Mielke, F. Schuetze, R. Rosen] ||

An updated version of GCF Working Paper 2 / 2017 “Framing 1.5°C – Turning an investment challenge into a green growth opportunity” that reflects the current IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C is now published on SSRN under:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3324509