Ancillary Benefits of Adaptation: An Overview

  • Elisa Sainz de MurietaEmail author
Part of the Springer Climate book series (SPCL)


Climate policies often provide benefits that are additional to the policy’s primary goal. Ancillary benefits have been extensively analysed for climate mitigation, while less attention has been paid to the co-benefits of adaptation. The aim of this chapter is to present an overview of the potential ancillary benefits of adaptation policies, from an economic, social and environmental perspective. Economic co-benefits of adaptation may arise from reducing the vulnerability to current climate variability, reducing background risk or creating the space for developing new products and services. From a social perspective, the ancillary benefits of adaptation have focused to a great extent on health co-benefits, and from an environmental point of view, these arise mainly from ecosystem-related adaptation approaches. Co-benefits or ancillary benefits of climate policies can be important in magnitude and may play a significant role in fostering climate policies and increasing their acceptability. However, there is little evidence of the extent to which ancillary benefits are being accounted for when planning for adaptation. If and how co-benefits might be integrated into climate adaptation design would be an interesting and policy-relevant question to address in future research.



This work is supported by the Basque Government through the BERC 2018–2021 programme and by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MICINN) through BC3’s María de Maeztu excellence accreditation MDM-2017-0714. E. Sainz de Murieta acknowledges funding from the Basque Government (grant no. POS_2018_2_0027).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)LeioaSpain
  2. 2.London School of Economics (LSE)Grantham Research InstituteLondonUK

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