Adaptive mitigation strategies hedge against extreme climate futures

Giacomo Marangoni, Jonathan R. Lamontagne, Julianne D. Quinn, Patrick M. Reed, Klaus Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty” (UNFCCC 2015). Designing a global mitigation strategy to support this goal poses formidable challenges. For one, there are trade-offs between the economic costs and the environmental benefits of averting climate impacts. Furthermore, the coupled human-Earth systems are subject to deep and dynamic uncertainties. Previous economic analyses typically addressed either the former, introducing multiple objectives, or the latter, making mitigation actions responsive to new information. This paper aims at bridging these two separate strands of literature. We demonstrate how information feedback from observed global temperature changes can jointly improve the economic and environmental performance of mitigation strategies. We focus on strategies that maximize discounted expected utility while also minimizing warming above 2 °C, damage costs, and mitigation costs. Expanding on the Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy (DICE) model and previous multi-objective efforts, we implement closed-loop control strategies, map the emerging trade-offs and quantify the value of the temperature information feedback under both well-characterized and deep climate uncertainties. Adaptive strategies strongly reduce high regrets, guarding against mitigation overspending for less sensitive climate futures, and excessive warming for more sensitive ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalClimatic Change
Volume166
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science

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