Economic assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda: Key results


A new report from the Government of Uganda with support from CDKN, Baastel, Metroeconomica, Makerere University and CIDT, finds that adaptation to climate change today is well worth the investment. The costs of inaction on climate change by 2025 are 20 times the costs of adaptation. Uganda is already experiencing the impacts of climate variability and associated economic losses. A drought in 2008 caused losses of approximately 3% of the value of all food and cash crops that year. Two years later, the country lost 16% of the total annual value of these crops as a result of extreme weather. The report’s key messages are: 1. Development prospects will only be reached if the impacts of climate change on Uganda are mitigated. 2. The impacts of climate change are expected to be felt across all the sectors and local areas studied, to varying degrees. 3. The cost of adaptation is high: estimated at around US$406 m over the next five years (2015–2020). On an annual basis, this amounts to about 5% of net official development assistance received and 3.2% of total government revenues (excluding grants). 4. The cost of inaction is 20 times greater than the cost of adaptation: inaction is estimated at between US$3.1 bn and 5.9 bn per year by 2025, which is more than 20 times the proposed adaptation budget. 5. The economic case for adaptation is clear: many of the adaptation measures proposed in the study are ‘no regrets’ investments, in that they are valid even in the absence of climate change. 6. Considering the co-benefits strengthens the case for adaptation further, for example improved livelihoods, health and access to energy; these represent strong investments in the development of Uganda’s future.


Markandya, A.; Cabot-Venton, C.; Beucher, O. Economic assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda: Key results. Climate Change Department, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda (2015) 110 pp.

Published 1 January 2015