Climate change and sustainable development: expanding the options

  • Swart R
  • Robinson J
  • Cohen S
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Abstract

Climate change and sustainable development have been addressed in largely separate circles in both research and policy. Nevertheless, there are strong linkages between the two in both realms. This paper focuses on the scientific linkages and discusses the opportunities they provide for integrated policy development, and the necessity to consider the risk of trade-offs. It is suggested that integration may not only provide new opportunities, but may even be a prerequisite for successfully addressing both issues. Since the feasibility of stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations is dependent on general socio-economic development paths, climate policy responses should be fully placed in the larger context of technological and socio-economic policy development rather than be viewed as an add-on to those broader policies. The arguments are supported by a range of examples for various economic sectors in the areas of both mitigation and adaptation, largely drawn from IPCC’s Third Assessment Report.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adaptation-links to SRES
  • Adaptation-mitigation links (and vice versa)
  • Alex's Library
  • Mitigation-links to development paths
  • Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable development-links to climate policy

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Authors

  • Rob Swart

  • John Robinson

  • Stewart Cohen

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