Valuing climate information

Event Type

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm ET

The demand for climate information that can guide climate risk management and adaptation is growing rapidly. Scientists, decision makers, and funders are considering how to design programs and projects that provide climate information to decision makers and ones that apply climate information to improve risk management and adaptation. Funders want to quantify the improvements that result in order to justify investments in providing climate information for decision-making. However, evidence regarding how effectively different approaches to providing and applying climate information improve outcomes, and therefore what socio-economic benefits they produce, is still limited. Evidence of benefits should guide the design of programs and projects.

Dr. Malgosia Madajewicz will discuss the approaches and methods used to determine the socio-economic benefits produced by climate information and the issues that complicate the task. She will present ongoing research that is assessing the value of climate information in two different contexts. She will discuss the agenda for research that can improve our understanding of effective approaches to providing and applying climate information.

Dr. Meri Davlasheridze will present a paper titled “The effects of adaptation measures on hurricane-induced property losses: Which FEMA investments have the highest returns?” which provides an example of an indirect approach to assessing the potential value of climate information. The following is the abstract of the paper:

This paper evaluates the relative effectiveness of FEMA expenditures on hurricane-induced property losses. We find that spending on FEMA ex-ante mitigation and planning projects leads to greater reductions in property losses than spending on ex-post adaptation programs – specifically, a one percent increase in annual spending on ex-ante risk reduction and warning projects reduces damages by 0.21 percent while a one percent increase in ex-post recovery and clean-up spending reduces damages by 0.12. Although both types of program spending are effective, we find the marginal return from spending on programs that target long-term mitigation and risk management to be almost twice that of spending on ex-post recovery programs. With the predicted increases in the frequency and severity of North Atlantic hurricanes in the future, our findings suggest there are important potential gains that could be realized from the further diversification of FEMA spending across project categories