Working Paper, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth 75
Meeting the global commitment to limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels will require collective, complementary and simultaneous action by nation states and multinational entities. This crisis, however, is additional to existing development challenges and is symptomatic of a fractured development model that has tended to emphasise the quantitative over the qualitative. The climate crisis comes amid a global economic crisis and the reverberating impacts of the preceding fuel and food crises. Multiple crises have arisen from the successive and collective failures to connect the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development appropriately, and to address systemic vulnerabilities arising from income inequality and volatility, lack of opportunities, unequal distribution of and access to resources, and a high dependence by the poor and vulnerable on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture. Thus the climate “crisis” presents a unique opportunity and added urgency to achieving the ideals expressed in Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) relating to sustainable and equitable development. Analysis of the implicit and explicit challenges in addressing the multidimensionality of development finds much potential in the “co-benefits approach” to advancing efforts to mainstream climate change into development. This has been found to facilitate innovative approaches and to foster a focus on sustainable and progressively equitable development, suggesting that equality, growth and sustainability can be compatible. In this regard, issues of the “how” become as important as the “what” in development. At its core, the debate centres on issues of governance, manifested in both the context of social exclusion as well as the hierarchies between ideologies of thought and between sectors. The implications extend beyond a response to climate change but go the heart of development as a whole. The underlying ideal of the Millennium Declaration (UN, 2000) is that growth should be balanced and influenced by poverty reduction, equality and environmentally sustainable imperatives. How countries fuel growth (and not just in structural and mechanical terms) determines who will have access to resources, how they will be used in a macro sense, and the sustainability of such actions. This paper is largely exploratory, seeking to identify options and structures rather than define solutions, and it focuses largely on adaptation in the context of national climate-change strategies.