Benefits of climate change mitigation for reducing the impacts of sea-level rise in G-20 countries

Sally Brown, Robert J. Nicholls, Anne K. Pardaens, Jason A. Lowe, Richard S.J. Tol, Athanasios T. Vafeidis, Jochen Hinkel

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6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper assesses the potential benefits of climate change mitigation in reducing the impacts of sea-level rise over the 21st century in G-20 countries (excluding the European Union as a whole), using the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment model. Impacts of the expected number of people flooded annually and wetland losses were assessed. To assess the benefits of mitigation, it was assumed that defences were not upgraded during the study.
Globally, with a sea-level rise of 0.68m by the 2080s (with respect to 1980-1999), representing a potential future with limited climate change mitigation, and with the SRES A1 socio-economic scenario, 123 million additional people could be flooded annually and 39% of present global wetland stock could be lost. For a 0.19m rise in sea-level, associated with a substantial reduction in emissions, the number of people flooded could reduce to 13 million per year, with 21% of global wetland stock loss, unless new wetlands emerge. Collectively, non-Annex 1 G-20 countries experience a disproportionate higher number of people flooded in their nations compared with the proportion of population flooded globally. The greatest wetland losses for G-20 countries are projected for Australia, Indonesia and the USA. Thus, G-20 nations with the highest emissions or gross domestic product, frequently do not experience the greatest impacts, despite some of these nations being potentially more able to pay for adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-895
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Issue number4
Early online date27 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

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