The PACINAS project deals with potential (planned) public adaptation and associated costs, benefits, and challenges with respect to implementing the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) in Austria

The PACINAS project complements the Austrian-funded project COsts of INAction (COIN), which assessed climate change impacts for the fields of activity (sectors) considered in Austria's NAS up to 2050.

PACINAS informs Austrian adaptation policy and is also part of a dynamic research field that seeks to address lack of knowledge on the actual costs of practical adaptation options at different levels (EU, national, and local). A clear requirement of the research is to conduct more detailed empirical work in those adaptation fields with the highest economic costs and those where policymakers need to prioritize climate risks and adaptation.

PACINAS will focus on different governance levels in Austria—federal, provincial and city—to identify and assess response efforts and options to cope with changing climate impacts (precipitation and flooding extremes, and heat extremes).

The project will develop and provide a range of methods, tools, processes, and data outputs to the respective user communities. In particular, PACINAS will combine a bottom-up approach (case studies for federal and subnational decision makers) with a top-down approach (macroeconomic assessment). It will focus both on extreme events and on gradual changes.

PACINAS aims to foster the involvement of stakeholders (representatives of key Austrian federal ministries and main departments at the province and municipal levels).

IIASA research

IIASA is conducting, as a policy case study, an assessment of the fiscal consequences of extreme weather events and adaptation to future events at the federal and provincial level in Austria.

The area of climate extremes and disaster risk management is an area of adaptation that is consistently identified as having high early economic costs and requiring large early adaptation investment. Disaster risks impose large fiscal costs and are basically contingent liabilities; they are, however, largely unrecognized in fiscal planning today.

The IIASA policy case study aims to assess impacts of recent events, identifying adaption measures that are planned or have already been applied and to empirically estimate adaptation costs and benefits across a range of policy-relevant contexts.

Building on current practice in planning for disaster risk in Austria and elsewhere, researchers will seek to

  • generate more robust estimates of the potential costs of extreme weather events and the consequences for public budgets; and
  • demonstrate that the scale of costs may be contingent on the choice of risk management options that are implemented.

The research will include exploration of the potential for iterative climate risk management approaches that are able to

  • introduce a greater degree of flexibility in response to future trends in extreme weather event frequency; and
  • incorporate the potential for exploiting new information as it becomes available, for example, on climate risks.