Ranking of national-level adaptation options. An editorial comment
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de Bruin et al. (Clim Change, 2009) report on an expert assessment aimed at prioritizing adaptation options in several climate-sensitive sectors of the Netherlands. Their results show that even in a country with high economic, institutional and technical capacity, it is not currently feasible to prioritize national-level adaptation options based on social cost-benefit analysis because of methodological difficulties and insufficient quantitative data. Multi-criteria analysis based on qualitative indicators can help prioritizing adaptation options but the analysis detected strong conflicts between priority and feasibility criteria. The specific results of the ranking exercise should be treated with caution due to weaknesses in the selection of adaptation options and the definition of evaluation criteria. The authors assert that their methods can be transferred to other regions but substantial modifications are likely required in developing countries with large current climate risks, fewer economic resources, and substantial social inequalities.
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