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Think tank estimates French climate adaptation to cost €5-20 billion per annum

(EurActiv, 8 Apr 2024) Adapting the French economy to climate change could cost between €5 billion and €20 billion a year by 2050, impacting buildings, road and rail transport and crop farming, according to estimates revealed by government-funded think tank I4CE, on Friday (5 April).

These estimates come ahead of the presentation of the third version of the National Plan for Adaptation to Global Warming (PNACC), expected “in a few weeks”, according to the staff of the Minister for Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu.

Like the French government, the think tank assumes a warming trajectory of +2.7°C in 2050 and +4°C in 2100, compared with the pre-industrial era (1850-1900), based on a scenario with no acceleration in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Even assuming this precise emissions trajectory, the exact costs of climate adaptation in France are difficult to forecast, and estimates depend on many factors, including the distribution of costs between stakeholders, the choice of maintenance activities, and the preferred lifespan of infrastructures.

The report notes that it is preferable to proactively adapt before climate change impacts manifest themselves rather than waiting and reacting afterwards. However, I4CE acknowledges that even this approach will not prevent reactive repair costs from rising.

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EurActiv, 8 Apr 2024: Think tank estimates French climate adaptation to cost €5-20 billion per annum