World Economic and Social Survey 2009
Promoting Development, Saving the Planet
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Available online as PDF file [242p.] at:
UN report says addressing climate change requires investing in low-emission, high-growth strategies for developing countries
“……..The report sees little benefit in ad hoc incremental actions, spelling out instead the potential of a big investment push to deliver on both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping communities to cope with climate change, and calling for more truly integrated policy responses to development and climate challenges. It does not shy away from describing the enormity of the adjustments that will have to be undertaken by countries at all levels of development if progress is to be made; or from insisting that the advanced countries will have to deliver resources and leadership on a much larger scale than has been the case to date.
According to the report, active participation of all countries in tackling the climate challenge will only come about if developing countries can maintain rapid economic growth. This will require satisfying the growing energy needs of developing countries: the energy-generating capacity of developing countries is projected to double that of developed countries in the coming decades. This raises the question for climate change negotiators of how poor countries can pursue low-emissions, high-growth development.
The technologies – from low-energy buildings, to new drought-resistant crop strains and more advanced primary renewables – that would allow developing countries to make the switch to a sustainable development path presently do exist. But they are often prohibitively expensive and, the report says, such a transformation would require “a level of international support and solidarity rarely mustered outside a wartime setting.”
The report challenges the thinking that the climate problem can simply be addressed by across-the-board emission cuts by all countries from their present levels or by relying exclusively on market-based solutions to generate the required investments…..”
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