An Economic Analysis of Global Impacts, Adaptation and Distributional Effects
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
It is now well understood that climate change will not have an identical impact on everyone. Some nations and individuals may be affected more than others, depending on geographical location, level of wealth, infrastructure development and institutional capacity. In the case of agriculture, adaptation plays a critical role as a key proactive measure for coping with likely impacts. In turn, adequate policy is a prerequisite for successful preparedness. We start with the scientific background of climate change, and ask what policy makers need to know and take into consideration in order to make more resilient decisions. GENERAL NATURAL SCIENCE AND ECONOMIC LINKS TO POLICY Climate change affects the performance of both plants and livestock. The change in crop and animal performance in turn affects economic outcomes on the farm. Scientific and economic evidence provides critical background information for policy makers to incorporate in their design of intervention policies. Crops Greenhouse gases are expected to have many effects on plants, both directly and indirectly. Plants directly respond to the levels of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Plants also directly respond to changes in climate caused by greenhouse gases. But crops may also be affected by indirect changes such as changes in water availability for irrigation, changes in pests, and changes in weeds. Scientific inquiries that quantify the links between CO2 concentrations and crop performance, yields and climate, changes in water availability, new levels of pests and weeds are all quite important to policy makers. Elevated CO2 concentrations allow plants to reduce...
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