Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
Title (Primary) Risks of maladaptation: climate insurance in agriculture
Author Müller, B. ORCID logo ; Johnson, L.; Kreuer, D. ORCID logo
Source Titel Briefing Paper
Year 2017
Department OESA
Volume 22/2017
Page From 1
Page To 4
Language englisch

Weather risk is an issue of extraordinary concern in the face of climate change, not least for rural agricultural households in developing countries. Governments and international donors currently promote ‘climate insurance’, financial mechanisms that make payouts following extreme weather events. Technologically innovative insurance programmes are heralded as promising strategies for decreasing poverty and improving resilience in countries that are heavily dependent on smallholder agriculture. New subsidies will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, yet funders and advocates have thus far neglected the social and ecological ramifications of these policies. Reviews have focused largely on near-term economic effects and practical challenges.

This briefing draws on an initial inventory of potential adverse effects of insurance programmes on local agricultural systems that we have recently assembled. Our review shows that farmers with insurance may alter their land-use strategies or their involvement in social networks previously used to mitigate climate risk. Both processes constitute crucial feedbacks on the environmental and the social systems respectively.

Based on our study, we suggest preliminary principles for avoiding maladaptive outcomes, including recommenda­tions for designing appropriate impact studies and in­surance programmes. Before implementation, pilot projects should assess existing local risk-management strategies, financial instruments, and extant state agricultural and social protection policies. Participatory processes should be designed to anticipate and appraise potential effects of insurance – including those resulting from changing land use – and interactions with existing public policies.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Müller, B., Johnson, L., Kreuer, D. (2017):
Risks of maladaptation: climate insurance in agriculture
Briefing Paper 22/2017 , 1 - 4