The principal objective of the World Economic and Social Survey 2009—Climate Change and Development (WESS 2009) is to better understand the linkage between climate change and development with the aim of identifying the programmes and policies needed for low-carbon, high-growth and equitable development. The tendency of climate change and development discussions to take place in separate areas has demonstrated the weakness of earlier approaches. To date a good deal of those discussions have focused around ethical (the theme of common but differentiated responsibility) and financial (funding mitigation and adaptation) issues, with a good deal less attention on policy measures. The WESS will attempt to broaden the discussion to involve such critical issues as the trade, industrial and technology policies needed to help developing countries establish high-growth, low-carbon development strategies and to make a case for a globally equitable and integrated approach that is coherent and mutually reinforcing. Both Mitigation and Adaptation will be addressed holistically and the report will seek to establish a clear linkage with sustainable development.
For many developing countries, the technological and financial constraints on adopting an effective strategy are significant, even prohibitive. It is therefore unlikely that such strategies will be adopted by countries acting purely from self-interest or under their own initiative, at least in the absence of a widely negotiated and embraced international agreement which can help mobilize collective action and provide guidance and some degree of legitimacy to local initiatives. Fashioning a supportive international regime will be key to taking meaningful steps towards a more integrated approach to the challenge.
The report will be launched around mid-2009 to be available to the UNFCCC process—in particular, the UNFCCC COP15 and COP/MOP5 meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009—and add to the key literature on climate and development for the policy-making community. We hope the WESS will serve the intergovernmental climate process by providing an informed document.
The WESS 2009 will comprise four parts
Part I will outline the key trends, prospects and policy challenges that climate change poses. Specifically, it will take a broad look at some of the key and contentious issues at the interface between climate change and development, will outline key features of an equitable and developmental regime such that all countries have space to provide their people with a minimum threshold of energy for human needs, and will provide various projections which link climate change to industrialization, demographic change, urbanization, land use (and food security) and energy use.
Part II will analyze the threats that climate change poses to the development agenda. These comprise not only the direct impact on incomes, jobs and welfare, but also the spillover of climate-related policies in the industrialized world and the implications of actions taken by developing countries themselves to adapt to and mitigate climate change. In doing so, this section will look at the likely costs of unchecked climate change for developing countries and the possible costs of responding to it through adaptation, mitigation and coping measures. It will spell out possible opportunities that adapting to and mitigating effects of climate change might provide by way of new investments, new sources of employment, etc, and identify strengths and weaknesses of market-based solutions and policy responses.
Part III will present the required building blocks of a sustainable development response. Taking into account common but differentiated responsibilities, it will elaborate on market-based and public resource mobilization required to address the challenges. It will analyze the challenges of implementing new, cleaner technologies, in terms of financing as well as in terms of research, development and intellectual property issues. The section will also entail discussion of the linkage between international trade and sustainable national development strategies.
Part IV will establish the requirements of an international regime to support a new global deal on climate change and development by addressing issues concerning adequate mechanisms of financial transfers, regulatory frameworks, and a greened multilateral trading system.
Imran Habib Ahmad
Chantal Line Carpentier
Contact us: at World Economic and Social Survey