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Socio-Economic Impacts of Global Warming Ronald B. Mitchell Department of Political Science University of Oregon Governor’s Advisory Council on Global.

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Presentation on theme: "Socio-Economic Impacts of Global Warming Ronald B. Mitchell Department of Political Science University of Oregon Governor’s Advisory Council on Global."— Presentation transcript:

1 Socio-Economic Impacts of Global Warming Ronald B. Mitchell Department of Political Science University of Oregon Governor’s Advisory Council on Global Warming 2 February 2004

2 Points of Departure Global warming is likely and impacts are likely to be negativeGlobal warming is likely and impacts are likely to be negative But costs and benefits of policy responses - mitigation and adaptation – also matterBut costs and benefits of policy responses - mitigation and adaptation – also matter May choose to mitigate (reduce emissions) but will have to adaptMay choose to mitigate (reduce emissions) but will have to adapt Environmental sustainability requires creating conditions for strong, long-term policy commitments (“policy sustainability”)Environmental sustainability requires creating conditions for strong, long-term policy commitments (“policy sustainability”)

3 Impacts on Oregon: Determinants Global Business as Usual (BAU) emissionsGlobal Business as Usual (BAU) emissions Mitigation in OregonMitigation in Oregon –But Oregon only about 1% of global problem Mitigation by Rest of WorldMitigation by Rest of World Response of natural system depends on:Response of natural system depends on: –Total Oregon + Rest of World emissions –Causal linkages of GHGs to forcing events Adaptation in OregonAdaptation in Oregon –Proactive adaptation –Responsive adaptation

4 Climate Change: Likely Forcing Events in Oregon Declining snowpack – up to 50% declineDeclining snowpack – up to 50% decline Rising sea level – up to 1 foot or moreRising sea level – up to 1 foot or more Rising temperatures – up to 5  F or moreRising temperatures – up to 5  F or more Weather variability – higher variance in temp, storm intensity, drought/rain cyclesWeather variability – higher variance in temp, storm intensity, drought/rain cycles

5 The Future for Oregon’s Snowpack? Austrian Glacial Retreat Since 1900 Source: Gesellschaft für ökologische Forschung e.V Das gletscherarchiv. Accessed: 15 January 2003.

6 The Future for Oregon’s Snowpack? Austrian Glacial Retreat Since 1900 Source: Gesellschaft für ökologische Forschung e.V Das gletscherarchiv. Accessed: 15 January Old water storage

7 The Future for Oregon’s Snowpack? Austrian Glacial Retreat Since 1900 Source: Gesellschaft für ökologische Forschung e.V Das gletscherarchiv. Accessed: 15 January Old water storage New water storage

8 The Future for Oregon’s Coasts? Sea Level Rise Source: US Environmental Protection Agency. State Impacts – Oregon Accessed: 31 January 2004.

9 Consequences of Inaction Flooding (river, coastal) and droughtFlooding (river, coastal) and drought Energy (demand, supply)Energy (demand, supply) Freshwater (municipal, manufacturing, agriculture)Freshwater (municipal, manufacturing, agriculture) Agriculture (crops, pests, disease, inputs)Agriculture (crops, pests, disease, inputs) Forestry (fires, disease)Forestry (fires, disease) Human health (heat, disease)Human health (heat, disease) Fisheries/hunting, RecreationFisheries/hunting, Recreation Ecosystem servicesEcosystem services Politics: impacts uncertain, in future, may be hard to observe, easy to blame on Nature or “other’s” emissionsPolitics: impacts uncertain, in future, may be hard to observe, easy to blame on Nature or “other’s” emissions

10 Consequences of Inaction: Vulnerability Varies Vulnerability of different citizens depends on exposure and ability to adapt, which depend on:Vulnerability of different citizens depends on exposure and ability to adapt, which depend on: –Income (rich/poor) –Location (urban/rural, mountains/ocean, western/eastern Oregon) –Type of employment (farming, hi tech) –Age (very young/very old) –Nature vs. humans

11 Mitigation Policy: Three Ways to Reduce Emissions Emissions = Population * Technology * Behavior Population, e.g., # of homes, # of carsPopulation, e.g., # of homes, # of cars Technology, e.g., types of homes, types of carsTechnology, e.g., types of homes, types of cars Behavior, e.g., thermostat setting, miles drivenBehavior, e.g., thermostat setting, miles driven Ex: Oregon CO2 emissionsEx: Oregon CO2 emissions Pop’nCO2/capTotal CO2 1990:2.8 M19.6 tons55.7m tons 1998: 3.3 M17.3 tons57.9m tons (12% decrease)

12 Mitigation Policy: Three Ways to Reduce Emissions Emissions = Population * Technology * Behavior Population, e.g., # of homes, # of carsPopulation, e.g., # of homes, # of cars Technology, e.g., types of homes, types of carsTechnology, e.g., types of homes, types of cars Behavior, e.g., thermostat setting, miles drivenBehavior, e.g., thermostat setting, miles driven Ex: Oregon CO2 emissionsEx: Oregon CO2 emissions Pop’nCO2/capTotal CO2 1998: 3.3 M17.3 tons57.9m tons 2000:3.3 M19.0 tons63.5m tons (10% increase)

13 Costs and Benefits of Mitigation: Non-Climate Benefits Matter Oregon benefits from Oregon mitigation are smallOregon benefits from Oregon mitigation are small Indirect benefits unclear (WA/CA, US, RoW):Indirect benefits unclear (WA/CA, US, RoW): –Symbolic effects of policy – “should do it” –Innovation/demonstration effects – “can do it” Some strategies can win support: local, near-term, secondary environmental, economic, and social benefits sometimes outweigh costsSome strategies can win support: local, near-term, secondary environmental, economic, and social benefits sometimes outweigh costs Most strategies won’t win support: local, clear, immediate, and concentrated costs outweigh global, unclear, future, and diffuse benefitsMost strategies won’t win support: local, clear, immediate, and concentrated costs outweigh global, unclear, future, and diffuse benefits

14 Costs and Benefits of Adaptation: Two Approaches Some adaptation will be necessarySome adaptation will be necessary Proactive adaptation: while impacts uncertainProactive adaptation: while impacts uncertain –E.g., construction of dams, seawalls, powerplants –Costs are local, clear, and concentrated –Benefits are local but uncertain and in future Responsive adaptation: after impacts happenResponsive adaptation: after impacts happen –Compensation, reconstruction, relocation –Costs are local, clear, but limited, “necessary” –Benefits are local, certain, and current

15 The Policy Problem Citizens currently engage in behaviors that contribute to climate change because:Citizens currently engage in behaviors that contribute to climate change because: –Incentives: “it’s the best alternative I have” but also –Ability: “it’s the only alternative I have” –Morality: “it’s the right alternative for me” How do we shape incentives, abilities, and morality so people change their behaviors?How do we shape incentives, abilities, and morality so people change their behaviors?

16 Basic Elements of a Solution? Change magnitude of costs and benefits actors already consider importantChange magnitude of costs and benefits actors already consider important Change which and whose costs and benefits actors consider importantChange which and whose costs and benefits actors consider important Change what actors consider as “appropriate” behaviorChange what actors consider as “appropriate” behavior Develop a portfolio of policies and strategies and promote policy experimentsDevelop a portfolio of policies and strategies and promote policy experiments

17 Environmental Sustainability Requires Stable Policy Commitment Recognize need to manage not solve problem: 3, 5, or 10 years not enoughRecognize need to manage not solve problem: 3, 5, or 10 years not enough Do not let uncertainty breed inactionDo not let uncertainty breed inaction Foster science that is policy-relevantFoster science that is policy-relevant Ensure policy and management are inclusive and adaptiveEnsure policy and management are inclusive and adaptive Educate and engage the public, foster “open source” policymakingEducate and engage the public, foster “open source” policymaking

18 Conclusions May choose to mitigate but will be forced to adaptMay choose to mitigate but will be forced to adapt Mitigation by Oregonians has few direct benefits for Oregon, so building political support will be challengingMitigation by Oregonians has few direct benefits for Oregon, so building political support will be challenging Adaptation is likely to be more viable politicallyAdaptation is likely to be more viable politically Responding to climate change effectively will require thinking in ways that are sustainable politicallyResponding to climate change effectively will require thinking in ways that are sustainable politically

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