Date: 18 January 2023, 12.00pm (GMT)
Speakers: Paul Watkiss (Paul Watkiss Associates) and Alistair Hunt (Bath University); with Daisy Jameson (Climate Change Committee) as respondent
Chair: Suraje Dessai
Investing in climate services leads to improved information, for example, from new or enhanced seasonal forecasts. In turn this information provides economic benefits to users, as it leads to positive outcomes from improved decisions. These economic benefits can be quantified, and this provides useful evidence for supporting investment in climate services. To date, quantitative evidence relating to the benefits of climate services has mostly been limited to agricultural seasonal forecasts. Here we provide four studies that illustrate the possibility of generating quantitative estimates of the financial and economic benefits of different climate services in various sectoral and temporal contexts. Study 1 quantifies the financial benefits of investment in a) short-term, observation-focussed, weather forecasts that can be used to reduce damage to viticulture from frosts, and b) the benefits of using climate change projections to aid investment planning in viticulture in the UK. Study 2 quantifies the economic benefits of using seasonal forecasts across road, rail and air transport in the UK, based on improved modelling of the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Case study 3 quantifies the non-market health benefits of investment in an extended heat-alert warning system to contend with increased frequency of heatwaves in a new geographical area. Finally, Study 4 examines climate change allowances and their use in infrastructure design.
Paul Watkiss is the director of Paul Watkiss Associates, a research consultancy specialising in adaptation policy, planning, finance and economics. He has over 20 years of applied adaptation experience. Paul led the economic assessment for the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 3 and is currently working on the Defra-funded ‘Economic Case for Climate Change Adaptation’ project, as well as European and international research on the economics of adaptation.
Alistair Hunt is a senior lecturer in environmental economics at Bath University and associate of Paul Watkiss Associates. He has been involved in all three UK Climate Change Risk Assessments to date and led the EC Research project ‘Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change’ (ECONADAPT).
Daisy Jameson is the new head of adaptation economics at the Climate Change Committee (CCC) since December 2022, leading on integrating economics into the Fourth UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. She has previously worked on Business and Aviation at the CCC and, prior to that, was an economist in the Government Economics Service.