CARE International: The costs and benefits associated with investing in climate change adaptation

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CARE International commissioned NEF Consulting to analyse the costs and benefits associated with investing in climate change adaptation in the region of Garissa, Kenya as part of the Adaptation Learning Programme. Given current challenges in climate change mitigation and uncertainty, adaptation to climate change is critical to ensure resilient livelihoods throughout the twenty-first century and particularly so in developing countries.

After conducting empirical research, including questionnaire application and stakeholder engagement, we developed a model in line with the methodological approach proposed by the Stern review on climate change that combined climatic, economic, ecological and social parameters in the form of capital. We used this model to derive quantitative estimates of the total costs of climate change for two communities in Garissa, Kenya, up to 2030 and the benefits of undertaking adaptation analysed in terms of avoided losses.

Despite large uncertainties relative to future impacts of climate change, especially when downscaling to a local level, our analysis included numerous scenarios and was therefore robust to sensitivity analysis. Overall positive cost-benefit ratios pointed to an unequivocal economic justification for investing in climate change adaptation in the region of Garissa, Kenya. Impact analyses based upon the principles of social cost-benefit analysis can be used to derive efficient and effective adaptation strategies not only on a regional scale, but equally when applied on a local level.