Distributional Impacts of Climate Change and Disasters

Distributional Impacts of Climate Change and Disasters

Concepts and Cases

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

Edited by Matthias Ruth and María E. Ibarrarán

Climate change tends to increase the frequency and intensity of weather-related disasters, which puts many people at risk. Economic, social and environmental impacts further increase vulnerability to disasters and tend to set back development, destroy livelihoods, and increase disparity nationally and worldwide. This book addresses the differential vulnerability of people and places, introducing concepts and methods for analysis and illustrating the impact on local, regional, national, and global scales.

Chapter 10: Distributional Effects and Change of Risk Management Regimes: Explaining Different Types of Adaptation in Germany and Indonesia

Hellmuth Lange, Heiko Garrelts, Winfried Osthorst and Farid Selmi

Subjects: development studies, development studies, economics and finance, environmental economics, regional economics, valuation, environment, disasters, environmental economics, valuation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Hellmuth Lange, Heiko Garrelts, Winfried Osthorst and Farid Selmi INTRODUCTION For a long time, the primary concern of both environmentalists and political decision-makers was to mitigate human activities that negatively impact climate systems. However, climate research shows that even when such mitigation efforts succeed, for a long time the specific inertia of the climate system will still confront societies with negative follow-on consequences of past human impacts on the system. Adaptation, which has been identified as an issue of increasing importance in the Third, and Fourth, Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has thus become an additional core challenge. Adaptation to potential future damage that, due to prognostic uncertainty, can only be extrapolated in terms of probabilistic equations means coping with risk. Risk typically derives from processes of both man-made climate change and ‘normal’ natural extreme events. The general aim is to reduce the vulnerability of society and of particularly exposed social groups with regard to expectable impacts from nature. This understanding links adaptation to socio-economic and institutional factors, as well as political and cultural processes, that determine how people respond to external hazards (Adger et al. 2004: 6; Lindseth 2005: 64). Adaptation thus includes changes in institutional arrangements, public policies, public and private spending, and investments in infrastructure and other durable goods. All of these changes have considerable distributional effects. Besides a redistribution of risks and resources between 183 184 Distributional impacts of climate change and disasters different social groups, resources between institutions may also...

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