Prevention and protection: the simultaneous implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation policies Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Felgenhauer, Tyler
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Public Policy
  • Mitigation and adaptation are the two key responses available to policymakers to reduce the risks of climate change. This three-essay dissertation is motivated by the fact that no coherent or policy-relevant understanding yet exists for how adaptation should be integrated into an overall understanding of the climate problem, or how policymakers can appropriately view mitigation and adaptation tradeoffs for decision making. The research goal is to frame and conceptualize these tradeoffs in joint implementation for decision makers in a way that is useful for understanding policy. My hypothesis is that in order to achieve this goal, emphasis should be given to two key strategy characteristics that most inform the relevant relationships and tradeoffs that occur when mitigation and adaptation are considered together. The framework development of the first essay finds that mitigation and adaptation tradeoffs are most apparent to policymakers if the strategies are compared on their investment lifetimes and strategy limits, in relation to climate damages, as well as how they both behave under uncertainty. Because of these two fundamental differences in strategies, adaptation is more usefully thought of as a portfolio of distinct investment types with different lifetimes and design capacity ranges for different damage sectors. Three distinct classes of adaptation activities can be created as a simplifying construct for policy analysis: flexible and short-lived flow spending, committed and long-lived new stock investments, and retrofitting of pre-existing adaptation stock investments. These adaptation types can be integrated with mitigation into an explicit decision analysis framework in order to explore the optimal portfolio of mitigation and different adaptation responses over time. In the second essay this framework is incorporated into a new DICE-based integrated assessment model that characterizes adaptation to climate change as either short-lived flow spending or long-lived adaptation stock investments. In the third essay I examine the extent to which the design of the policy mechanism for raising and distributing international adaptation financing as part of a global climate change regime affects participation in and compliance with such a treaty, and thus the emergence of such a successful agreement.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Public Policy."
  • Webster, Mort David
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

This work has no parents.

In Collection: