Decision Support for Climate Change Adaptation Policy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Geographical Sciences


The aim of this project is to provide decision support for climate change adaptation policy decisions,
particularly in developing countries. Given the current political landscape, the focus of policy in the
near future will likely remain prevention rather than adaptation. This, coupled with the lack of
resources available to devote to the problem in the developing world, will leave some of the most
geographically at-risk countries unprepared. In light of this, it is crucial to decide how best to
manage resources to mitigate adverse impacts. To this end, I propose to quantify the likely adverse
effects of climate change on the most relevant social outcomes, given different sets of public
policies. I would do this by modelling the system using a dynamic stochastic network in which
complex interaction effects between variables can be estimated over time. I plan to focus on a
specific country for which sufficient access to required data is possible. The diversity in the social,
political and climate systems across different countries means a more general setting would not be
appropriate. However, some elements of the methodology developed could be extended from this
case study to other countries in future.

The model would use the most likely projected natural impacts from climate change in the country,
and indicators on the levels to which certain types of policies are pursued. It would then estimate
how this combination of factors might impact important social outcomes given different policy
interventions. The dynamic element of the model would mean we could observe both the
immediate impacts and those working over time, for which non-stationary impacts would also be
taken into consideration. The values given for these social outcomes would then be combined into a
single index on well-being or welfare. In this way the impact on this index, a function of the impact
on different social outcomes, can be analysed for different policy schedules. Various balances
between policies could also be considered for their impact on the components of the index


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2094842 Studentship ES/P000630/1 01/10/2018 01/10/2022 James Alexander Sammut