The Economic Risks and Opportunities of Climate Resilience in the Western Cape

8 June 2018

The Western Cape Government (WCG) Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) recently commissioned an assessment of the potential economic impacts of climate change to inform decision-making. The outcomes of this research are presented in three reports:

  1. A summary report of economic modelling showing the economic impacts on the Western Cape under various future climate change impact scenarios and various levels of climate change response from the WCG;
  2. A summary report of a Cost-Benefit Analysis of various planned WCG projects that incorporate climate change response;
  3. A final consolidated report outlining the economic risks and opportunities of developing climate resilience in the Western Cape.

Some key messages and scenarios from the analysis include:

  • By investing in improved climate resilience, the Western Cape economy could be 33% better-off in 2040 than if the province does not adapt to the impacts of climate change (i.e. the baseline; failure to invest adequately in adapting to climate change could result in the Western Cape’s GDP contracting by more than 17% by 2040; whilst effective investment in enhancing climate resilience could boost the province’s GDP by more than 15% above the no-adaptation baseline by 2040);
  • Employment levels in the Western Cape could increase by as much as 12.4% by 2040 above the baseline, if the province leads in adapting to climate change;
  • By becoming a national leader in climate resilience, the Western Cape can increase its competitive advantage and so limit price increases;
  • With enhanced climate resilience, regional exports from the Western Cape could increase by 6.4% above the baseline by 2040;
  • A more climate resilient province will result in a lower cost of living and better quality of life for the Western Cape’s people;
  • Investment in climate resilience will secure the Western Cape’s place in an increasingly carbon-constrained global economy;
  • Cost-effective climate change responses are being implemented across a wide range of Western Cape Government departments, highlighting that reducing climate change risks is a province-wide and multi-sectoral responsibility.

* More detailed technical reports are also available on request.

For any further information, please contact the Climate Change Directorate here.