Chapter 4: Coping with climate risk: the options
David Castells-Quintana, Maria del Pilar Lopez- ribe and U Thomas K.J. McDermott 4.1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter we set out some key considerations for policy makers wishing to design development strategies with climate risk in mind. While much of the economics literature still treats adaptation as a set of self-tanding activities to be assessed on a case- y-ase basis, s b c we argue instead for a view of adaptation in developing countries as climate- esilient development. In practice, this means embedding climate r risk fully into wider development strategies, but also taking account of how adaptation and development will interact dynamically over time – something that has been relatively neglected to date in the adaptation literature. The rapid development in terms of economic growth, capital accumulation and demographics ongoing in many developing countries is fundamentally changing their vulnerability to climate change, for good or ill. We focus on adaptation as an autonomous response to changing climatic conditions. We explore the barriers to private adaptation of businesses, households and other vulnerable groups to climate risk and the policies that can be used to foster successful long-erm adaptation strat t egies. While most attention in the literature on adaptation has focused on policies undertaken by governments (Fankhauser and Soare, 2013), private agents – households, communities and firms – also undertake important initiatives that help to mitigate or adapt to climate change. Forward-ooking private actors should be able to respond appropriately l to (slowly evolving) change, without government intervention, provided they have ‘adequate information, appropriate...
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