Centre for Sustainable Finance & Department of Economics

Economic valuation of climate adaptation and resilience-building

Project Information

Principal Investigator


  • Carter Brandon (WRI)
  • Thomas Tanner (SOAS)
  • Swenja Surminski (LSE Grantham)
  • Viktor Roezer (LSE Grantham)




  • 2020–2022


This project investigates the costs and benefits of adaptation and resilience-building interventions across cases in Australia, China, the United Kingdom and the United States, quantifying benefit-cost ratios (BCRs) and the triple dividend of resilience (TDR).

The TDR is an approach that considers the avoided losses (first dividend), induced economic or development benefits (second dividend), and additional social and environmental benefits (third dividend) of adaptation actions. Benefits falling under the second and third dividends are especially important because they materialise even when the actual climate risk does not.

The project shows that accounting for the full range of benefits contained in the TDR shows higher BCRs than often assumed. Doing so is a complex and challenging task: some benefits are not commonly quantified, while others lack sufficient data and analysis.

However, recent research has begun to fill existing gaps, drawing on a range of well-established methodologies. A better understanding and application of the TDR can help increase access to project finance, improve project design, and facilitate better ex post monitoring and evaluation.


The project has led to a follow-up project providing TDR analysis of adaptation interventions in a number of sectors for the World Bank's Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) for Cambodia.

Working paper