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Global investment costs for coastal defense through the 21st century

Global investment costs for coastal defense through the 21st century
Global investment costs for coastal defense through the 21st century
Sea-level rise threatens low-lying areas around the world's coasts with increased coastal flooding during storms. One response to this challenge is to build or upgrade coastal flood defenses. This report examines the potential investment costs of such an adaptation strategy applied globally over the 21st century for sea-level rise scenarios consistent with three Representative Concentration Pathways and 3 Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. For all the protection models considered, much less than half of the world's coast is protected. The total defense costs are significantly higher than earlier estimates, amounting to as much as US$18.3 trillion. With cost-benefit analysis, there are large uncertainties and empirical observations of protection standards are limited. Hence, the estimates should be considered as indicative, and this remains an important topic for future research. Further, building defenses is not a one-off capital investment. Over the 21st century, the cost of a comprehensive protection strategy is dominated by maintenance costs in all the cases considered in this report. This indicates that in addition to capital investment, the development of appropriate institutions and governance mechanisms to deliver maintenance, as well as the necessary funding streams, are essential for such a protection-based adaptation strategy to be effective.
WPS8745
World Bank Group
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Hinkel, Jochen
9c7e8026-955c-42cd-9179-6113efbf1339
Lincke, Daniel
8b279c5b-dd6e-46f4-9c8d-adf83f6ea2cd
van der Pol, Thomas
b9afcd2e-9984-41a9-817e-902876efe238
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Hinkel, Jochen
9c7e8026-955c-42cd-9179-6113efbf1339
Lincke, Daniel
8b279c5b-dd6e-46f4-9c8d-adf83f6ea2cd
van der Pol, Thomas
b9afcd2e-9984-41a9-817e-902876efe238

Nicholls, Robert, Hinkel, Jochen, Lincke, Daniel and van der Pol, Thomas (2019) Global investment costs for coastal defense through the 21st century (Policy Research Working Paper, WPS8745, 1) Washington DC. World Bank Group 64pp. (In Press)

Record type: Monograph (Project Report)

Abstract

Sea-level rise threatens low-lying areas around the world's coasts with increased coastal flooding during storms. One response to this challenge is to build or upgrade coastal flood defenses. This report examines the potential investment costs of such an adaptation strategy applied globally over the 21st century for sea-level rise scenarios consistent with three Representative Concentration Pathways and 3 Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. For all the protection models considered, much less than half of the world's coast is protected. The total defense costs are significantly higher than earlier estimates, amounting to as much as US$18.3 trillion. With cost-benefit analysis, there are large uncertainties and empirical observations of protection standards are limited. Hence, the estimates should be considered as indicative, and this remains an important topic for future research. Further, building defenses is not a one-off capital investment. Over the 21st century, the cost of a comprehensive protection strategy is dominated by maintenance costs in all the cases considered in this report. This indicates that in addition to capital investment, the development of appropriate institutions and governance mechanisms to deliver maintenance, as well as the necessary funding streams, are essential for such a protection-based adaptation strategy to be effective.

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 February 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428681
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428681
PURE UUID: 2324bd3c-77f4-4841-9b1b-66b4df847850
ORCID for Robert Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

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Date deposited: 06 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:43

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Contributors

Author: Robert Nicholls ORCID iD
Author: Jochen Hinkel
Author: Daniel Lincke
Author: Thomas van der Pol

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