Assessing Mitigation-Adaptation Scenarios for Reducing Catastrophic Climate Risk
Countries can use both mitigation and adaptation strategies to protect their citizens from catastrophic risk posed by climate change (e.g., shift in the jet stream). A nation can mitigate by reducing CO2 emissions, which reduces the probability of a catastrophic event; it can adapt by altering the infrastructure so that damages can be reduced in the event a catastrophe is realized. Herein we add to the current literature by extending the endogenous risk framework into a dynamic framework permitting analysis of both mitigation and adaptation while allowing for the dynamic process of global climate change. Our results suggest adaptation to catastrophe is a small fraction of the national climate protection budget relative to mitigation when nations cooperate fully, when damages are both continuous and catastrophic, and when nations have a short planning horizon. Adaptation becomes more important relative to mitigation when nations are unlikely to cooperate, when damages are mainly catastrophic, or when the nation’s planning horizon increases.