This paper seeks to demonstrate that the value of climate projection information can be used to derive quantitative estimates of both the costs and benefits of information-based measures introduced to reduce climate-related risks. Specifically, information relating to both longer term climate change and weather variability are combined to identify potential resource implications for health service planning when faced with higher frequencies of heatwaves. A range of climate projection-city combinations are explored in order to test the robustness of the economic justification for heatwave warning systems (HWWS) in Europe – London, Madrid and Prague. Our results demonstrate that in most cases the HWWS option can be justified in the current climate – it is therefore a “no/low regret” option. Our results also show that whilst costs increase slightly under climate change scenarios, benefits of HWWS are likely to increase more steeply in European contexts. However, whilst the majority of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) outcomes are found to be positive, (i.e. economic benefits are greater than economic costs), across alternative climate projection-city combinations, in sensitivity analyses it is possible to generate negative results in certain geographical contexts. Indeed, with respect to this climate change risk, this analysis has identified that the analysis of key uncertainties, such as effectiveness of HWWSs and the valuation of health improvements, is critical in strengthening the case for HWWS implementation.
Hunt, A., Ferguson, J., Baccini, M., Watkiss, P., & Kendrovski, V. (2017). Climate and weather service provision: Economic appraisal of adaptation to health impacts. Climate Services, 7, 78–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cliser.2016.10.004