Distribution of economic damages due to climate-driven sea-level rise across European regions and sectors

Ignasi Cortés Arbués*, Theodoros Chatzivasileiadis*, Olga Ivanova, Servaas Storm, Francesco Bosello, Tatiana Filatova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Economic costs of climate change are conventionally assessed at the aggregated global and national levels, while adaptation is local. When present, regionalised assessments are confined to direct damages, hindered by both data and models’ limitations. This article goes beyond the aggregated analysis to explore direct and indirect economic consequences of sea level rise (SLR) at regional and sectoral levels in Europe. Using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model and novel datasets, we estimate the distribution of losses and gains across regions and sectors. A comparison of a high-end scenario against a no-climate-impact baseline suggests a GDP loss of 1.26% (€871.8 billion) for the whole EU&UK. Conversely our refined assessments show that some coastal regions lose 9.56–20.84% of GDP, revealing striking regional disparities. Inland regions grow due to the displaced demand from coastal areas, but the GDP gains are small (0–1.13%). While recovery benefits the construction sector, public services and industry face significant downturns. We show that prioritising recovery of critical sectors locally reduces massive regional GDP losses, at negligible costs to the overall European economy. Our analysis traces regional economic restructuring triggered by SLR, underscoring the necessity of region-specific adaptation policies that embrace uneven geographic impacts and unique sectoral profiles to inform resilient strategy design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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