Adapting to a France at +4°C: what are the costs?

2024-04-17 06:30:12

To support France’s adaptation plan to +4°C warming in construction, I4CE unveils its report on the evaluation of the costs of adaptation to climate change.

Several reports assess the costs necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and therefore mitigate the effects of climate change. But when it comes to adaptation, the information remains more diffuse. To see more clearly, the Institute of Economics for Climate (I4CE) unveils its report Anticipating the effects of global warming of +4°C: what are the costs for adaptation? presented to the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, on April 5.

The good news is that there are “ options d’anticipation » known, ready to be deployed. Some options offer enough economic co-benefits to be inherently profitable, but not all do. « This observation invites us to open a debate on the internalization of climate risk in economic models and the assumption of responsibility for adaptation costs.suggests I4CE.

We will therefore have to agree to spend several billion euros per year to adapt all economic sectors to a France at +4°C by the end of the century. The report gives “ first orders of magnitude of the amounts at stake for all players in the economybut does not allow us to deduce “ a single cost of adaptation in France ». And for good reason: the final cost will certainly depend on the level of warming chosen for adaptation, but also “ of the way we collectively choose to prepare”, warns I4CE. The cost of adaptation thus amounts over time to a sum of three types of costs: the costs of anticipation or prevention, the costs of reaction or repair and the costs linked to loss of revenue and socio-economic consequences. induced by each climatic event.

Adaptation measures for “a few” billions and hundreds of millions

The report focuses on the adaptation of three sectors in mainland France: construction, land transport infrastructure and agricultural plant production. To ensure summer comfort, for example, additional costs amount to between 1 and 2.5 billion euros per year for new construction, all sectors combined. They also represent “ several billion euros per year » for the existing park. However, strengthening flood risk prevention and clay shrinkage-swelling measures would only represent “ a few hundred million euros ».

To adapt the road and rail networks, it will also be necessary to spend between “ a few hundred million to a few billion euros per year […] in the coming decades ». To maintain agricultural yields despite climate change, we should finally spend “ of the order of 1.5 billion euros per year »calcule I4CE.

Not implementing an ambitious adaptation policy will cost the community even more. And without structural adaptation, “ these expenses incurred [liées aux dommages, aux coûts des réparations des infrastructures essentielles ou encore aux aides de crise] will continue to increase and lose their exceptional character”, underlines I4CE. They already represent “several billion euros per year”. This is without taking into account the socio-economic consequences induced, such as the impacts on the health system, labor productivity, the efficiency of transport networks and the trade balance.

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