Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

CERE Working Papers,
CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics

No 2015:8: Will adaptation delay the transition to clean energy systems?

O Bahn , Kelly de Bruin () and C Fertel
Additional contact information
O Bahn: GERAD and Department of Decision Sciences, HEC Montreal, Postal: Montreal, QC, Canada H3T 2A7
Kelly de Bruin: CERE, Umeå University, Postal: 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
C Fertel: GERAD, HEC Montreal, Postal: Montreal, Canada

Abstract: Climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet in the foreseeable future, yet, despite international environmental agreements, global GHG emissions are still increasing. In this context, adaptation measures are an alternative to mitigation efforts. These measures involve adjustments to economic or social structures to limit the impact of climate change without limiting climate change itself. To assess the interplay of adaptation and mitigation, we propose AD-MERGE, an integrated assessment model that includes both reactive ("flow") and proactive ("stock") adaptation strategies as well as several mitigation (energy) technologies. We find that adaptation delays but does not prevent the transition to clean energy systems (carbon capture and sequestration systems, nuclear, and renewables). Moreover, applying both strategies is more e ffective than using just one.

Keywords: Climate change; Climate policy mix; Adaptation; Mitigation; Integrated assessment

JEL-codes: Q50; Q52

28 pages, September 8, 2015

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