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Energy and Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries

Energy and Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries

Date 

10 January, 2018

Summary

The energy sector plays an important role as driver of climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions, but it also stands to suffer greatly from more frequent extreme climate events. The whole value chain of the energy system – generation, transmission, distribution, as well as consumption – is already being increasingly strained by climate events. Droughts and floods significantly affect hydropower generation output. Transmission and distribution lines are at risk of storm and cyclone induced catastrophic damage, which could cause expensive power outages. In addition, energy demand is set to increase, as the warmer climate will call for additional cooling needs.

Developing countries may suffer the most from strong climate change impacts, while having a lower capacity to increase their resilience. As energy demand is set to increase by 71% in these countries by 2040, there is an opportunity for this sector to undergo a transformation in order to avoid the risk of locking into unsustainable energy growth patterns and increase resilience. Adaptation can be structural or policy driven and may include diversifying energy generation sources or fortifying power plants close to coastlines prone to flooding. However, to increase resilience and adaptation to a global average temperature rise of 2.0 degrees Celsius will be very expensive with a projected cost of between $70 billion to $100 billion a year. Yet adaptation faces more obstacles than its cost because many countries lack ex-ante climate risk assessments and no standardised monitoring and evaluation of adaptation practices.

The aim of this study is to provide a rarely discussed analysis of the interlinkages between the energy sector and climate change adaptation in order to support the donor community with a set of recommendations on how a climate change adaptation approach for projects in the energy sector can be effectively introduced. Indeed, the conclusions from this report reflect that increased funding for climate change adaptation in the energy sector, as well as targeted specific interventions for climate-adapted energy systems can fill the resilience gap and spur sustainable energy development.

Location

Topics

  • Climate Change
  • Energy Access
  • Energy and Cities
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Security
  • Renewable Energy

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