Strategic cooperation for transnational adaptation: lessons from the economics of climate change mitigation
- 1.4k Downloads
The literature on climate adaptation has so far conceptualized it as a domestic issue, to be governed somewhere between the local and the national scale. By contrast, scholars have shown little interest in exploring the case of cross-boundary adaptation spillovers, where adaptation by one country affects other countries. Two decades of the economic literature on climate mitigation may contribute to bridge this research gap because the problem structure of climate mitigation resembles that of adaptation with cross-boundary spillovers. With this in mind, we ask the following research question: Are there lessons to be learned by applying a mitigation perspective to the governance of adaptation with cross-boundary spillovers? After reviewing the relevant adaptation and mitigation literature, the paper applies mitigation insights to an adaptation case with cross-boundary spillovers: climate change-induced eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. Insights on coalition structures, side-payments, issue-linkage, and trade sanctions provide novel perspectives on the governance structures in place. To improve cooperation on providing adaptation as a public good, smaller regional governance arrangements could be more effective, European subsidies for pollution control might be redirected, and progress on eutrophication could be made a precondition for cooperation on other areas. These perspectives depart both from the way the Baltic Sea eutrophication problem is addressed at present, and from the way public goods are addressed in the adaptation literature. They show that some lessons can indeed be learned, calling for further research.
KeywordsTransnational adaptation Public goods Climate mitigation Governance arrangements Spillovers Baltic Sea
List of abbreviations
Baltic Sea Region Strategy
International Environmental Agreement
Water Framework Directive
We would like to thank our colleagues at the Resource Economics Group, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Adis Dzebo, Åsa Persson, and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions on early versions of this paper.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Ahtiainen, H., Artell, J., Czajkowski, M., Hasler, B., Hasselström, L., Huhtala, A., et al. (2014). Benefits of meeting nutrient reduction targets for the Baltic Sea—a contingent valuation study in the nine coastal states. Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, 3(3), 278–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Atteridge, A., & Remling, E. (2018). Is adaptation reducing vulnerability or redistributing it? Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 9(1), e500.Google Scholar
- Bengtsson, R. (2009). An EU strategy for the Baltic Sea region: Good intentions meet complex challenges. European Policy Analysis, 9, 1–12.Google Scholar
- Böhringer, C., Carbone, J. C., & Rutherford, T. F. (2016). The strategic value of carbon tariffs. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 8(1), 28–51.Google Scholar
- Bollen, J., B. Guay, S. Jamet, and J. Corfee-Morlot (2009). Co-benefits of climate change mitigation policies. OECD Economics Department Working Papers 693. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/co-benefits-of-climate-change-mitigation-policies_5kskp4svfktb.pdf?itemId=%2Fcontent%2Fpaper%2F224388684356&mimeType=pdf. Accessed 9 February 2019.
- Carraro, C., & Siniscalco, D. (1997). R&D Cooperation and the Stability of International Environmental Agreements. In C. Carraro (Ed.), International environmental agreements: Strategic policy issues (pp. 71–96). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
- European Court of Auditors. (2016). Combating eutrophication in the Baltic Sea: further and more effective action needed. Special Report. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/SR16_03/SR_BALTIC_EN.pdf. Accessed 9 February 2019.
- Hagen, A., Kähler, L., & Eisenack, K. (2017). Transnational environmental agreements with heterogeneous actors. In M. Ö. Kayalica, S. Cagatay, & H. Mihci (Eds.), Economics of international environmental agreements: A critical approach (pp. 79–96). Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hagen, A. & Schneider, J. (2017). Boon or bane? Trade sanctions and the stability of international environmental agreements. Oldenburg Discussion Papers in Economics V-403-17, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany. https://uol.de/fileadmin/user_upload/wire/fachgebiete/vwl/V-403-17.pdf. Accessed 9 February 2019.
- HELCOM. (2018). State of the Baltic Sea—Second HELCOM holistic assessment 2011–2016. Baltic Sea Environment Proceedings 155. http://stateofthebalticsea.helcom.fi/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/HELCOM_State-of-the-Baltic-Sea_Second-HELCOM-holistic-assessment-2011-2016.pdf. Accessed 9 February 2019.
- Karlsson, M., Gilek, M., & Lundberg, C. (2016). Eutrophication and the ecosystem approach to management: A case study of Baltic Sea environmental governance. In M. Gilek, M. Karlsson, S. Linke, & K. Smolarz (Eds.), Environmental governance of the Baltic Sea (pp. 21–44). Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kundzewicz, Z. W. (2009). Adaptation to floods and droughts in the Baltic sea basin under climate change. Boreal Environment Research, 14, 193–203.Google Scholar
- Magnan, A. K., Schipper, E. L. F., Burkett, M., Bharwani, S., Burton, I., Eriksen, S., et al. (2016). Addressing the risk of maladaptation to climate change. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 7(5), 646–665.Google Scholar
- Persson, Å. (2011). Institutionalising climate adaptation finance under the UNFCCC and beyond: Could an adaptation ‘market’ emerge? Stockholm Environment Institute, Working Paper (2011-03). https://www.sei.org/mediamanager/documents/Publications/Climate/Adaptation/sei-wp-2011-03-adaptation-commodification.pdf. Accessed 9 February 2019.
- Sida (2019) A healthier Baltic Sea with improved wastewater treatment. Online Article. https://www.sida.se/English/where-we-work/Europe/Russia/examples-of-results/a-healthier-baltic-sea-with-improved-wastewater-treatment/. Accessed 6 February 2019.
- Smit, B. & Pilifosova, O. (2001). Climate change 2001: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability: Contribution of working group II to the third assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. 877–912. https://library.harvard.edu/collections/ipcc/docs/27_WGIITAR_FINAL.pdf. Accessed 9 February 2019.