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

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Against a backdrop of increasing awareness about the impacts and potential economic costs of climate change, the government of Uganda commissioned this report published by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network. This report presents the key findings of the study, which assessed the economic impacts of climate change in Uganda. It is hoped that the report can provide the government with economic evidence on the current and future costs associated with climate change, and the necessary adaptation measure required at both national and local levels. The 18-month long study analysed the impact of climate change on four sectors at the national level: water, infrastructure, agriculture (including livestock), and energy, as well as according to medium-to-low- and high-level warming scenarios. The study team engaged with around 200 stakeholders from the government of Uganda and around 300 people from districts and civil society through face-to-face meetings, workshops, interviews, and field missions. Each of the four national sectors analysed have their own section in the report, with overviews provided on how climate change, changing demand, and other variable factors are likely to impact them. Risks include significant impacts on coffee production, a potential decrease in hydro-power production due to decreased rainfall, and a lack of resilience in infrastructure. Each section also comes with sector-specific evaluations on adaptation priorities . Four case studies are then presented which help to show how many ‘no regrets’ measures are available, and how these may help Uganda to adapt to climate change while advancing its development. The case studies discuss ongoing work concerning: optimising the balance of livestock and crop agriculture in the Karamoja and Mount Elgon regions; water and hydropower in the Mpanga river basin; urban infrastructure in Kampala; and malaria prevalence in Kabale and Tororo districts.The key messages presented by the report are that:

Development prospects will only be reached if the impacts of climate change on Uganda are mitigated. * The impacts of climate change are expected to be felt to varying degrees across all the sectors and local areas studied.
The cost of adaptation is high: estimated at around $406m 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).
The cost of inaction is 20 times greater than the cost of adaptation: inaction is estimated at between $3.1bn and $5.9bn per year by 2025, which is more than 20 times the proposed adaptation budget. * 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.
Considering the co-benefits strengthens the case for adaptation further, for example improved livelihoods, health and access to energy