Journal article Open Access
Botzen, Wouter; Martinius, M.; Bröde, P.; Folkerts, M.A.; Ignjacevic, P.; Estrada, F.; Harmsen, C.N.; Daanen, H.A.M.
This study examines the impacts of climate change on future mortality in the
Netherlands and the related economic costs. Our methods account for changes in
both cold- and heat-related mortality for different age classes, the time dynamics
associated with temperature-related mortality, demographic change and the urban
heat island effect. Results show that heat and cold impacts on mortality vary
considerably between age classes, with older people being more vulnerable to
temperature extremes. The sensitivity of mortality to temperature is higher on hot
(4.6%/°C) than cold (2.1%/°C) days for the most vulnerable group (≥ 80 years),
and extreme temperatures have long time lags on mortality, especially in the cold.
A main finding is that climate change is expected to first decrease total net
mortality in the Netherlands due to a dominant effect of less cold-related mortality,
but this reverses over time under high warming scenarios, unless additional adaptation
measures are taken. The economic valuation of these total net mortality
changes indicates that climate change will result in net benefits of up to €2.3
billion using the Value of a Statistical Life Year and €14.5 billion using the Value
of a Statistical Life approaches in 2050, while this changes over time in net
economic costs under high warming scenarios that can reach up to €17.6 billion
in 2085. Implementing adaptation policies that reduce the negative impacts of
warming on mortality in the heat can turn these net costs into net benefits by
achieving a continued dominating effect of reduced mortality in the cold.