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A Life Cycle Costing framework to assess the costs of climate change adaptation options

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Oliver Heidrich, Dr Maria Pregnolato, Professor Richard DawsonORCiD


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Sea-level rise is a likely consequence of changes in climate patterns in the future. Flood defences represent a conventional means to protect coastal cities. Failure to consider the costs of adaptation strategies can be seen by decision makers as a barrier to implement protection measures. In order to validate adaptation strategies of coastal protection, a consistent and repeatable assessment of the costs is necessary. This presentation extends current knowledge on cost estimates by developing probabilistic functions of dike costs, on the basis of real coastal dike data. Life Cycle Costing (LCC) is an emerging, although complex and resource intensive, approach to support economic decision. In this paper it was applied to provide a reproducible estimate of typical sea dike costs and uncertainty, in comparison with traditional cost-benefit analysis. The objective of LCC is to provide decision-makers with the ability to select the most appropriate alternative options at any time throughout the life cycle of a sea dike. Conducting the LCC will reduce a potential uncertainty on the protection costs, which can remove potential barriers in decision making. We provide data from Netherlands, Canada and the UK and show that the unit costs depend not only on the country and land use (urban/non-urban) but also on characteristics included in the costs, e.g. property acquisition (Lenk et al., 2017). Although the focus of this research is sea dikes, our approach is applicable and transferable to other adaptation measures, like riverine dikes or indeed other adaptation infrastructures. We aim to provide a framework for policy-makers to prioritize adaptation options and to allocate financial resources, in a context of increasing climate pressures. Reference Lenk, S., et al (2017) Costs of sea dikes – regressions and uncertainty estimates, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17(5), pp. 765-779.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heidrich O, Rybski D, Pregnolato M, Dawson R, Kropp J

Editor(s): Rybski, Kropp;

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Cities and Climate Conference 2017

Year of Conference: 2017

Print publication date: 08/09/2017

Online publication date: 08/09/2017

Acceptance date: 05/05/2017


Sponsor(s): EU FP7 - RAMSES