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Climate change: Back to development

Michel Damian and Luigi De Paoli

ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, 2017, vol. 2017/3, issue 3, 5-24

Abstract: The Paris Agreement has created a double bifurcation. First, from top-down approach (with an emissions limit imposed from above) to a bottom-up approach based on national emissions reduction pledges. And second, from a mitigation-centered policy to a more balanced mitigation and adaptation efforts. The following work proposes, however, that further steps must be taken to bring the theme of development back to the center of the fight against climate change. The article is divided into four parts. First is a reflection on the fact that mitigation has captured much of the attention during the past twenty years, but that adaptation is progressively gaining importance in policies to combat climate change. The next section explains why, starting from the Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, the objective of the "stabilization of greenhouse gases concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" has led first to define the increase of 2 ° C as the limit not to be exceeded, then to the search for an equivalent level of CO2 concentration and last to the related carbon budget. The third part shows why the goal of not exceeding the 2 ° C temperature increase is illusory when considering the discrepancy between actual mitigation policies and theoretical commitments required based on the data presented by the IPCC. Even salvation coming from negative emission technologies at the moment seems more theoretical than real. The final conclusions state that, given the insufficiency of the mitigation tools, adaptation must be taken seriously - not as a passive solution, but as a conception of a different kind of development, which is required not only to fight climate change, but also for other purposes. .

JEL-codes: Q54 F53 Q01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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