Increased energy use for adaptation significantly impacts mitigation pathways
A new study published today in Nature Communications by researchers from the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, the European Institute on Economics and the Environment and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine finds that adapting to climate change will require more energy than previously estimated, leading to higher energy investments and costs. Avoiding this additional energy burden is another important benefit of ambitious mitigation that so far has remained neglected in the academia, the public debate and the international negotiations.
This new study sheds light on a blind spot of the energy transition and of the implementation of climate policies: adaptation needs will reduce the effectiveness of climate mitigation policy, and it is therefore necessary to revise those policies accounting for the evident changes in climatic conditions. The researchers involved examined how responses to climate change will affect energy systems, and therefore the achievement of mitigation goals, including their economic costs. Estimating the size of future energy needs for adaptation to climate change has important implications for the transition towards sustainability and decarbonized economies.