No Regrets Options

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Within the climate change literature, 'no regrets' options are responses to climate change that deliver net economic benefits, and hence represent a low-risk, attractive strategy for governments, firms or households. These measures are sometimes referred to as 'win-win' actions, since they deliver multiple benefits simultaneously, namely economic growth as well as climate change objectives. Yet this term is used differently in different contexts, notably in the literatures on adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. In the mitigation literature, no regrets options deliver net economic benefits as well as mitigation gains. Their defining characteristic is that their economic benefits outweigh the costs of implementation plus any costs to society, even in the absence of mitigation payments. In cases where mitigation gains achieved are compensated by the carbon market or public sector incentive schemes, these options would be still more advantageous. In the adaptation literature, no regrets options are those that generate net social or economic benefits irrespective of whether or not climate change occurs, as well as across a range of possible climate futures. They build resilience to future climate shocks while also delivering near-term benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change
EditorsS. George Philander
PublisherSage Publications
ISBN (Print)9781412992619
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2012

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