Sustainable Development - a framework for global climate change collaboration

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Halsnaes, Kirsten
Holding Date 04 October 2008

Climate change is a long term global environmental problem that influences the wellbeing of present and future generations, and an emerging literature therefore assess climate change in the context of sustainable development.
There is a dual relationship between sustainable development and climate change. On the one hand, climate change influences key natural and human living conditions and thereby also the basis for social and economic development, on the other hand society’s priorities on sustainable development influence both the GHG emissions that are causing climate change and the vulnerability.
Climate policies can be more effective when consistently embedded within broader strategies designed to make national and regional development paths more sustainable. This occurs because the impact of climate variability and change, climate policy responses, and associated socio-economic development will affect the ability of countries to achieve sustainable development goals. Conversely, the pursuit of those goals will in turn affect the opportunities for, and success of, climate policies.
The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group III suggests to address the relationship between climate change adaptation and mitigation policies in the context of sustainable development in a pragmatic way. This can be done by considering how current development paths can be made more sustainable. Such an approach have been used in the Development and Climate project that has been conducted in a partnership between centres of excellence in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Senegal, South Africa, Denmark and the Netherlands. The climate change — sustainable development link will be illustrated by results from these countries.
Sustainable development concepts are also currently playing a key role in relation to international negotiations about a new climate change agreement for the post Kyoto period. One of the key policy messages is that climate change has large implications for intra-generational and intergenerational equity, and the application of different equity approaches has major implications for policy recommendations as well as on the implied distribution of costs and benefits of climate policies. Different approaches to social justice can be applied to the evaluation of equity consequences of climate change policies. The paper will give a short introduction to the equity principles and outcomes of alternative new climate regimes.