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An open-source approach to adaptation economics – insights from twenty case studies worldwide

Wednesday 10 October 2018, 16:00 - 17:00
SEE Meeting rooms 8.119
David Bresch, Professor for Weather and Climate Risks at ETH Zürich/MeteoSwiss

Joint SRI-CCCEP-Centre for Decision Research (CDR)-Priestley seminar


Improving the resilience of our societies in the face of volatile weather and climate change is an urgent priority today and will increase in importance in the decades to come. The climate of the past is by no means sufficient a basis for decisions going forward any more. Never in history a society has known so much about the processes that shape its future and obtained a wealth of forward-looking weather and climate information – yet pre-emptive (and precautionary) action is not taking place as widespread as is it could be. While measures exist to adapt to an ever changing environment, decision makers on all levels need the facts to identify the most cost-effective instruments, they need to know the potential weather and climate-related damages over the coming decades, to identify measures to mitigate these risks – and to decide whether the benefits will outweigh the costs. The Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) methodology provides decision makers with a fact base to answer these questions in a systematic way. We will revisit twenty applications of the methodology and comment on its applicability with a focus on how to deal with – and communicate – uncertainties.


Prof. Dr. David N. Bresch, Professor for Weather and Climate Risks at ETH Zürich/MeteoSwiss since 2016. 2000-2016, roles at Swiss Re included Head Business Development, Global Head Sustainability, Head Atmospheric Perils Group and Chief modeler for natural catastrophe risk assessment. 1998-1999 Research Associate, MIT, Cambridge, USA. Member of the Swiss UNFCCC delegation 2009-2012 and 2015, member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), 2014-2016. PhD in physics from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His research focuses on the impacts of weather and climate on socio-economic systems. Combining numerical modelling of weather and climate risks with the engagement of decision makers and end-users, his research aims to explore ways to strengthen resilience based on a shared understanding of their weather and climate susceptibility. Such an integrated view along the chain of impacts also opens new perspectives to the treatment of uncertainty in decision-making.