Research Project

Simplifying real options analysis for climate change adaptation

Supporting decision-makers to evaluate the economic benefit of climate adaptation infrastructure projects 

New infrastructure needed in response to climate change impacts will require cost analysis suitable to the scale of the project. Real options analysis (ROA) is used to help decision-makers accelerate, delay or rescale investment, but it is not widely used due to its complexity and resource-intensive nature, which is unsuitable for small scale projects.

We need a tool that better suits small-to-medium sized climate adaptation projects funded by local authorities with few resources for in-depth economic analysis. This is useful for roading projects, where almost half of all local council expenditure on road improvements is for projects with budgets of less than $1m. 

As a result of this research, decision-makers have a “first pass” filter, to identify which economic analysis would best suits any proposed project. This is intended to help decision-makers allocate scarce analytical resources to the projects where they can add the most value.

How will this research can be used:

  • Helping decision makers allocate scarce resources to the projects for which the benefits of bespoke ROA are greatest.
  • Helping practitioners carry out simplified—and cost effective—ROA on smaller projects that might otherwise be denied the insights of ROA.

Who we engaged with:

  • Policy makers in central government  
  • Decision makers at regional and local government
  • Practitioners and consultants involved in planning for climate change