Is coastal adaptation a public good? The financing implications of good characteristics in coastal adaptation
Sea level rise poses a crisis for coastal communities. Many local governments have identified strategies to prepare for the impacts of sea level rise but often lack funding mechanisms. To date, the assumption that coastal adaptation is a public good has limited the tools used to finance responses to sea level rise. We argue that good characteristics - subtractability, excludability, heterogeneity, joint production, and capital intensity - combine in unique ways across adaptation strategies, and few strategies provide exclusively public goods. These good characteristics create political opportunities for application of financing mechanisms such as property taxes, district-level finance, and bonds that have been less commonly used for adaptation. Exploring the good characteristics of a particular adaptation strategy can help communities identify an appropriate and feasible mechanism for financing it.
Woodruff, SC; Mullin, M; Roy, M
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