Menu image/svg+xml

Cost dimensions of climate damage - a systematic categorization Study within the project "Costs due to climate change impacts in Germany"

The objective of this study is to systematically categorize the multiple dimensions of climate change-induced damages and the costs of adaptation to climate change. The study first introduces the four categories of climate change damages used here:

    1.) Direct monetary costs,
    2.) indirect monetary costs,
    3.) direct intangible damages, and
    4.) indirect immaterial damages.

Politicians and the public have so far primarily perceived the direct monetary damages and the human fatalities, which are here attributed to the direct immaterial damages. The study makes clear that this is a truncated perception that can lead to political and personal misjudgements, because significant further damage categories are overlooked and neglected.

Across these categories, climate damage can be differentiated according to additional criteria: According to causation by gradual climate change or by climate change-related extreme events. In this context, current approaches of attribution research are discussed in an excursus.

Climate damage can also be systematized according to affected economic sectors, fields of action, regions, social groups or even generations. These perspectives provide a more differentiated picture of specific impacts than, for example, looking only at total damage amounts, which often only refer to the direct monetary total damage.