Economic and Environmental Impacts of Climate Change and Socio-Economic Scenarios: A Case Study of a Semi-subsistence Agricultural System

Abstract

In this study we use a spatially-explicit integrated assessment model (TOA-ME) to evaluate the economic (income, poverty) and environmental (soil nutrient depletion) impacts of climate change and socio-economic scenarios in a case study of the semi-subsistence agricultural production systems of Machakos (Kenya). This model provides a unique capability to assess distributional effects of climate change on economic and environmental outcomes while also accounting for market-level impacts on prices. We use this framework to examine how a socio-economic scenario based on policy and technology interventions can offset the likely negative effects of climate change. In order to conduct this analysis we propose a three-step methodology: analysis of climate change scenarios generated by GCMs, use of GCMs output to estimate crop responses, and modeling the land use decisions and economics of the farming systems. Output data from 5 commonly used GCMs and 3 emission scenarios were used. Outputs from GCMs and emission scenarios corresponding to the Machakos region are highly variable but present a similar trend of higher temperatures and decreasing precipitation. As a result, crop production decreases with the effects varying by location. Farmers are likely to adapt to the new climate conditions through changes in land use; however the effects on poverty and soil nutrient depletion rates are small. In contrast, the analysis shows that an effective policy and technology intervention that leads to different socio-economic conditions could offset the negative effects of climate change and reduce this region’s vulnerability. The results also imply that ignoring new market conditions could lead to incorrect information for policy making.

Citation

Valdivia, R.O.; Stoorvogel, J.J.; Antle, J.M. Economic and Environmental Impacts of Climate Change and Socio-Economic Scenarios: A Case Study of a Semi-subsistence Agricultural System. (2012) 3 (2) 157 pp.-176.

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