283
4
Sustainable Development
and Equity
Coordinating Lead Authors:
Marc Fleurbaey (France / USA), Sivan Kartha (USA)
Lead Authors:
Simon Bolwig (Denmark), Yoke Ling Chee (Malaysia), Ying Chen (China), Esteve Corbera (Spain),
Franck Lecocq (France), Wolfgang Lutz (IIASA / Austria), Maria Silvia Muylaert (Brazil), Richard B.
Norgaard (USA), Chukwumerije Okereke (Nigeria / UK), Ambuj Sagar (USA / India)
Contributing Authors:
Paul Baer (USA), Donald A. Brown (USA), Josefa Francisco (Philippines), Michael Zwicky Hauschild
(Denmark), Michael Jakob (Germany), Heike Schroeder (Germany / UK), John Thøgersen (Denmark),
Kevin Urama (Nigeria / UK / Kenya)
Review Editors:
Luiz Pinguelli Rosa (Brazil), Matthias Ruth (Germany / USA), Jayant Sathaye (USA)
This chapter should be cited as:
Fleurbaey M., S. Kartha, S. Bolwig, Y. L. Chee, Y. Chen, E. Corbera, F. Lecocq, W. Lutz, M. S. Muylaert, R. B. Norgaard, C. Oker-
eke, and A. D. Sagar, 2014: Sustainable Development and Equity. In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change.
Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
[Edenhofer, O., R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier,
B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J.C. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cam-
bridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
284284
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
Contents
Executive Summary � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 287
4�1 Introduction � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 289
4�1�1 Key messages of previous IPCC reports
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 289
4�1�2 Narrative focus and key messages
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 290
4.1.2.1 Consumption, disparities, and well-being
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
4.1.2.2 Equity at the national and international scales
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
4.1.2.3 Building institutions and capacity for effective governance
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292
4�2 Approaches and indicators � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 292
4�2�1 Sustainability and sustainable development (SD)
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 292
4.2.1.1 Defining and measuring sustainability
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292
4.2.1.2 Links with climate change and climate policy
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
4�2�2 Equity and its relation to sustainable development and climate change
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 294
4�3 Determinants, drivers and barriers � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 296
4�3�1 Legacy of development relations
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 296
4�3�2 Governance and political economy
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 297
4�3�3 Population and demography
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 299
4�3�4 Values and behaviours
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 299
4�3�5 Human and social capital
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 300
4�3�6 Technology
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 301
4�3�7 Natural resources
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 302
4�3�8 Finance and investment
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 303
285285
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
4�4 Production, trade, consumption and waste patterns � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 304
4�4�1 Consumption patterns, inequality and environmental impact
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 304
4.4.1.1 Trends in resource consumption
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304
4.4.1.2 Consumerism and unequal consumption levels
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304
4.4.1.3 Effect of non-income factors on per capita carbon footprint
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305
4�4�2 Consumption patterns and carbon accounting
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 305
4.4.2.1 Choice of GHG accounting method
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305
4.4.2.2 Carbon footprinting (consumption-based GHG emissions accounting)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305
4.4.2.3 Product carbon footprinting
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306
4.4.2.4 Consumption-based and territorial approaches to GHG accounting
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306
4�4�3 Sustainable consumption and production SCP
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 307
4.4.3.1 Sustainable consumption and lifestyle
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307
4.4.3.2 Consumer sustainability attitudes and the relation to behaviour
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308
4.4.3.3 Sustainable production
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
4�4�4 Relationship between consumption and well-being
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 310
4�5 Development pathways � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 311
4�5�1 Definition and examples
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 311
4�5�2 Transition between pathways
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 312
4.5.2.1 Path dependence and lock-ins
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312
4.5.2.2 Examples and lessons from the technology transition literature
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313
4.5.2.3 Economic modelling of transitions between pathways
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314
4�6 Mitigative capacity and mitigation, and links to adaptive capacity and adaptation � � � � � � � � � � � 315
4�6�1 Mitigation and adaptation measures, capacities, and development pathways
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 315
4�6�2 Equity and burden sharing in the c ontext of international cooperation on climate
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 317
4.6.2.1 Equity principles pertinent to burden sharing in an international climate regime
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317
4.6.2.2 Frameworks for equitable burden sharing
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319
4�7 Integration of framing issues in the context of sustainable development � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 321
4�7�1 Risk and uncertainty in sustainability evaluation
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 321
4�7�2 Socio-economic evaluation
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 321
286286
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
4�8 Implications for subsequent chapters � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 322
4�8�1 Three levels of analysis of sustainability consequences of climate policy options
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 322
4�8�2 Sustainability and equity issues in subsequent chapters
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 323
4�9 Gaps in knowledge and data � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 325
4�10 Frequently Asked Questions � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 326
References � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 328
287287
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
Executive Summary
Since the first assessment report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Cli-
mate Change (IPCC) has considered issues of sustainable development
(SD) and equity: acknowledging the importance to climate decision
making, and progressively expanding the scope to include: the co-
benefits of climate actions for SD and equity, the relevance of lifestyle
and behaviour, the relevance of technological choices, the relevance of
procedural equity to effective decision making, and the relevance of
ethical frameworks and equitable burden sharing in assessing climate
responses. This Assessment Report further explores key dimensions of
SD and equity, highlighting the significance of disparities across dif-
ferent regions and groups, and the ways in which designing a climate
policy is a component of a wide-ranging societal choice of a develop-
ment path. [Section 4.1, 4.2]
Sustainable development, a central framing issue in this Assess-
ment Report, is intimately connected to climate change (high
confidence). SD is variably conceived as development that preserves
the interests of future generations, that preserves the ecosystem ser-
vices on which continued human flourishing depends, or that harmo-
nizes the co-evolution of three pillars (economic, social, environmental)
[4.2]. First, the climate threat constrains possible development paths,
and sufficiently disruptive climate change could preclude any prospect
for a sustainable future (medium evidence, high agreement). Thus, a
stable climate is one component of SD. Second, there are synergies and
tradeoffs between climate responses and broader SD goals, because
some climate responses generate co-benefits for human and economic
development, while others can have adverse side-effects and gener-
ate risks (robust evidence, high agreement). These co-benefits and risks
are studied in the sector chapters of this report, along with measures
and strategies to optimize them. Options for equitable burden sharing
can reduce the potential for the costs of climate action to constrain
development (medium evidence, high agreement). Third, at a more fun-
damental level, the capacities underlying an effective climate response
overlap strongly with capacities for SD (medium evidence, high agree-
ment) and designing an effective climate policy involves ‘mainstream-
ing’ climate in the design of comprehensive SD strategies and thinking
through the general orientation of development (medium evidence,
medium agreement). [4.2, 4.5]
Equity is an integral dimension of SD (high confidence). First,
intergenerational equity underlies the concept of sustainability. Intra-
generational equity is also often considered an intrinsic component of
SD. In the particular context of international climate policy discussions,
several arguments support giving equity an important role: a moral
justification that draws upon ethical principles; a legal justification
that appeals to existing treaty commitments and soft law agreements
to cooperate on the basis of stated equity principles; and an effective-
ness justification that argues that a fair arrangement is more likely to
be agreed internationally and successfully implemented domestically
(medium evidence, medium agreement). A relatively small set of core
equity principles serve as the basis for most discussions of equitable
burden sharing in a climate regime: responsibility (for GHG emissions),
capacity (ability to pay for mitigation, but sometimes other dimensions
of mitigative capacity), the right to development, and equality (often
interpreted as an equal entitlement to emit). [4.2, 4.6]
While it is possible to envision an evolution toward equitable
and sustainable development, its underlying determinants are
also deeply embedded in existing societal patterns that are
unsustainable and highly inertial (high confidence). A useful set
of determinants from which to examine the prospects for and impedi-
ments to SD and equity are: the legacy of development relations; gov-
ernance and political economy; population and demography; values
and behaviour; human and social capital; technology; natural resource
endowments; and finance and investment. The evolution of each of
these determinants as a driver (rather than barrier) to a SD transition
is conceivable, but also poses profound challenges (medium evidence,
medium agreement). [4.3]
Governing a transition toward an effective climate response
and SD pathway is a challenge involving rethinking our relation
to nature, accounting for multiple generations and interests
(including those based on endowments in natural resources),
overlapping environmental issues, among actors with widely
unequal capacities, resources, and political power, and diver-
gent conceptions of justice (high confidence). Key debated issues
include articulating top-down and bottom-up approaches, engaging
participation of diverse countries and actors, creating procedurally
equitable forms of decentralization and combining market mecha-
nisms with government action, all in a particular political economic
context (robust evidence, high agreement). [4.3]
Technology and finance both are strong determinants of future
societal paths, and while society’s current systems of allocat-
ing resources and prioritizing efforts toward investment and
innovation are in many ways robust and dynamic, there are
also some fundamental tensions with the underlying objec-
tives of SD (high confidence). First, the technological innovation and
financial systems are highly responsive to short-term motivations, and
are sensitive to broader social and environmental costs and benefits
only to the often limited extent that these costs and benefits are
internalized by regulation, taxation, laws and social norms. Second,
while these systems are quite responsive to market demand that is
supported by purchasing power, they are only indirectly responsive to
needs, particularly of those of the world’s poor, and they operate with
a time horizon that disregards potential needs of future generations
(medium evidence, medium agreement). [4.3]
Enhancing human capital based on individual knowledge and
skills, and social capital based on mutually beneficial formal
and informal relationships is important for facilitating a tran-
sition toward sustainable development (medium evidence, high
agreement). ‘Social dilemmas’ arise in which short-term individual
288288
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
interests conflict with long-term social interests, with altruistic values
being favourable to SD. However, the formation of values and their
translation into behaviours is mediated by many factors, including the
available set of market choices and lifestyles, the tenor of dominant
information sources (including advertisements and popular culture),
the culture and priorities of formal and civil institutions, and prevailing
governance mode (medium evidence, medium agreement). The demo-
graphic transition toward low fertility rates is usually viewed favorably,
though an ageing population creates economic and social challenges,
and migrations due to climate impacts may exacerbate tensions
(medium evidence, medium agreement). [4.3, 4.4]
The global consumption of goods and services has increased
dramatically over the last decades, in both absolute and per
capita terms, and is a key driver of environmental degradation,
including global warming (high confidence). This trend involves
the spread of high-consumption lifestyles in some countries and sub-
regions, while in other parts of the world large populations continue to
live in poverty. There are high disparities in consumption both between
and within countries (robust evidence, high agreement). [4.4]
Two basic types of decoupling are often invoked in the context
of a transition toward sustainable development: the decoupling
of material resource consumption (including fossil fuels) and
environmental impact (including climate change) from economic
growth, and the decoupling of economic growth from human
well-being (high confidence). The first type the dematerialization of
the economy, i. e., of consumption and production is generally con-
sidered crucial for meeting SD and equity goals, including mitigation of
climate change. Production-based (territorial) accounting suggests that
some decoupling of impacts from economic growth has occurred, espe-
cially in industrialized countries, but its extent is significantly dimin-
ished based on a consumption-based accounting (robust evidence,
medium agreement). Consumption-based emissions are more strongly
associated with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than production-based
emissions, because wealthier countries generally satisfy a higher share
of their final consumption of products through net imports compared to
poorer countries. Ultimately, absolute levels of resource use and envi-
ronmental impact including GHG emissions generally continue to
rise with GDP (robust evidence, high agreement), though great varia-
tions between countries highlight the importance of other factors such
as geography, energy system, production methods, waste management,
household size, diet and lifestyle. The second type of decoupling of
human well-being from economic growth is a more controversial
goal than the first. There are ethical controversies about the measure
of well-being and the use of subjective data for this purpose (robust
evidence, medium agreement). There are also empirical controversies
about the relationship between subjective well-being and income,
with some recent studies across countries finding a clear relationship
between average levels of life satisfaction and per capita income,
while the evidence about the long-term relationship between satisfac-
tion and income is less conclusive and quite diverse among countries
(medium evidence, medium agreement). Studies of emotional well-
being do identify clear satiation points beyond which further increases
in income no longer enhance emotional well-being (medium evidence,
medium agreement). Furthermore, income inequality has been found to
have a marked negative effect on average subjective well-being, due to
perceived unfairness and undermined trust of institutions among low
income groups (medium evidence, medium agreement). [4.4]
Understanding the impact of development paths on emissions
and mitigative capacity, and, more generally, how development
paths can be made more sustainable and more equitable in the
future requires in-depth analysis of the mechanisms that under-
pin these paths (high confidence). Of particular importance are the
processes that may generate path dependence and lock-ins, notably
‘increasing returns’ but also use of scarce resources, switching costs,
negative externalities or complementarities between outcomes (robust
evidence, high agreement). [4.5, 4.6] The study of transitions between
pathways is an emerging field, notably in the context of technology
transitions. Yet analyzing how to transition to a sustainable, low-emis-
sion pathway remains a major scientific challenge. It would be aided
by models with a holistic framework encompassing the economy, soci-
ety (in particular the distribution of resources and well-being), and the
environment, that take account of relevant technical constraints and
trends, and explore a long-term horizon while simultaneously captur-
ing processes relevant for the short-term and the key uncertainties
(medium evidence, medium agreement). [4.5, 4.7]
Mitigation and adaptation measures can strongly affect broader
SD and equity objectives, and it is thus useful to understand
their broader implications (high confidence). Building both mitiga-
tive capacity and adaptive capacity relies to a profound extent on the
same factors as those that are integral to equitable and sustainable
development (medium evidence, high agreement), and equitable bur-
den sharing can enhance these capacities where they are most fragile
[4.6]. This chapter focuses on examining ways in which the broader
objectives of equitable and sustainable development provide a policy
frame for an effective, robust, and long-term response to the climate
problem. [4.8]
289289
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
4.1 Introduction
4�1�1 Key messages of previous IPCC reports
This chapter seeks to place climate change, and climate change mitiga-
tion in particular, in the context of equity and SD. Prior IPCC assess-
ments have sought to do this as well, progressively expanding the
scope of assessment to include broader and more insightful reflections
on the policy-relevant contributions of academic literature.
The IPCC First Assessment Report (FAR) (IPCC, 1990) underscored the
relevance of equity and SD to climate policy. Mandated to identify
“possible elements for inclusion in a framework convention on cli-
mate change”, the IPCC prominently put forward the “endorsement
and elaboration of the concept of sustainable development” for nego-
tiators to consider as part of the Convention’s Preamble. It noted as
key issues “how to address equitably the consequences for all” and
“whether obligations should be equitably differentiated according to
countries’ respective responsibilities for causing and combating cli-
mate change and their level of development”. This set the stage for
the ensuing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) negotiations, which ultimately included explicit appeals to
equity and SD, including in its Preamble, its Principles (Article 2), its
Objective (Article 3), and its Commitments (Article 4).
The IPCC Second Assessment Report (SAR) (IPCC, 1995), published
after the UNFCCC was signed, maintained this focus on equity and SD.
It reflected a growing appreciation for the prospects for SD co-benefits
and reiterated the policy relevance of equity and SD. It did this most
visibly in a special section of the Summary for Policymakers present-
ing “Information Relevant to Interpreting Article 2 of the UNFCCC”,
including Equity and social considerations” and “Economic develop-
ment to proceed in a sustainable manner”. Notably, the SAR added
an emphasis on procedural equity through a legitimate process that
empowers all actors to effectively participate, and on the need to build
capacities and strengthen institutions, particularly in developing coun-
tries.
The IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) (IPCC, 2000)
demonstrated that broader SD goals can contribute indirectly, yet
substantially, to reducing emissions. This IPCC contribution reflected
a change in the scientific literature, which had in recent years
expanded its discussion of SD to encompass analyses of lifestyles,
culture, and behaviour, complementing its traditional techno-eco-
nomic analyses. It also reflected a recognition that economic growth
(especially as currently measured) is not the sole goal of societies.
The SRES thus provided insights into how policy intervention can
decouple economic growth from emissions and well-being from eco-
nomic growth, showing that both forms of decoupling are important
elements of a transition to a world with low greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions.
The IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) (IPCC, 2001) deepened the
consideration of broader SD objectives in assessing response strate-
gies. Perhaps owing to a growing appreciation for the severity of the
climate challenge, the TAR stressed the need for an ambitious and
encompassing response, and was thus more attentive to the risk of
climate-focused measures conflicting with basic development aspira-
tions. It thus articulated the fundamental equity challenge of climate
change as ensuring “that neither the impact of climate change nor
that of mitigation policies exacerbates existing inequities both within
and across nations”, specifically because “restrictions on emissions
will continue to be viewed by many people in developing countries
as yet another constraint on the development process” (See Box 4.1
for further discussion of the relationship between climate change and
development challenges in developing countries.). The TAR recognized
the need to deepen the analysis of equitable burden sharing in order
to avoid undermining prospects for SD in developing countries. More
generally, the TAR observed that equitable burden sharing is not solely
an ethical matter. Even from a rational-actor game-theoretic perspec-
tive, an agreement in which the burden is equitably shared is more
likely to be signed by a large number of countries, and thus to be more
effective and efficient.
The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) (IPCC, 2007) further
expanded the consideration of broader SD objectives. It stressed
the importance of civil society and other non-government actors in
designing climate policy and equitable SD strategies generally. The
AR4 focused more strongly on the distributional implications of cli-
mate policies, noting that conventional climate policy analysis that
is based too narrowly on traditional utilitarian or cost-benefit frame-
works will neglect critical equity issues. These oversights include
human rights implications and moral imperatives; the distribution of
costs and benefits of a given set of policies, and the further distri-
butional inequities that arise when the poor have limited scope to
influence policy. This is particularly problematic, the AR4 notes, in
integrated assessment model (IAM) analyses of ‘optimal’ mitigation
pathways, because climate impacts do not affect the poor exclusively
through changes in incomes. Nor do they satisfactorily account for
uncertainty and risk, which the poor treat differently than the rich.
The poor have higher risk aversion and lower access to assets and
financial mechanisms that buffer against shocks. The AR4 went on
to outline alternative ethical frameworks including rights-based and
capabilities-based approaches, suggesting how they can inform cli-
mate policy decisions. In particular, the AR4 discussed the implica-
tions of these different frameworks for equitable international bur-
den sharing.
The IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate
Change Mitigation (SRREN) (IPCC, 2011) deepened the consideration
of broader SD objectives in assessing renewable energy options, not-
ing particularly that while synergies can arise (for example, helping
to expand access to energy services, increase energy security, and
reduce some environmental pressures), there can also be tradeoffs
(such as increased pressure on land resources, and affordability) and
290290
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
these must be negotiated in a manner sensitive to equity consider-
ations.
The IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events
and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) (IPCC
2012a) highlighted key further dimensions of SD and equity, including
the distinction and interplay between incremental and transformative
changes both of which are necessary for an effective climate policy
response, and emphasized the diversity of values that underlie deci-
sion making, e. g., a human rights framework vs. utilitarian cost-benefit
analysis.
4�1�2 Narrative focus and key messages
In keeping with the previous IPCC assessments, this chapter considers
SD and equity as matters of policy relevance for climate change deci-
sion makers. The chapter examines the ways in which climate change
is in fact inextricably linked with SD and equity, and it does so with the
aim of drawing policy-relevant conclusions regarding equitable and
sustainable responses to climate change.
In one direction, the link is self-evident: an effective climate response
is necessary for equitable and sustainable development to occur. The
disruptions that climate change would cause in the absence of an
effective societal response are sufficiently severe (see Working Group
(WG) I and II contributions to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5))
to severely compromise development, even taking into account future
societies’ ability to adapt (Shalizi and Lecocq, 2010). Nor is this devel-
opment likely to be equitable, as an increasingly inhospitable climate
will most seriously undermine the future prospects of those nations,
communities, and individuals that are in greatest need of develop-
ment. Without an effective response to climate change, including both
timely mitigation and proactive adaptation, development can be nei-
ther sustainable nor equitable.
In recent years, the academic community has come increasingly to
appreciate the extent to which SD and equity are also needed as
frameworks for assessing and prioritizing climate responses: given
the strong tradeoffs and synergies between the options for a climate
response and SD, the design of an effective climate response must
accord with the objectives for development and equity and exploit the
synergies. A climate strategy that does not do so runs the risk either of
being ineffective for lack of consensus and earnest implementation or
of jeopardizing SD just as would unabated climate change. Therefore,
a shift toward more equitable and sustainable modes of development
may provide the only context in which an effective climate response
can be realized.
The scientific community is coming to understand that climate change
is but one example of how humankind is pressing up against its plane-
tary limits (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Rockström etal.,
2009a). Technical measures can certainly help in the near-term to alle-
viate climate change. However, the comprehensive and durable strate-
gies society needs are those that recognize that climate change shares
its root causes with other dimensions of the global sustainability crisis,
and that without addressing these root causes, robust solutions may
not be accessible.
This chapter, and many parts of this report, uncovers ways in which a
broader agenda of SD and equity may support and enable an effective
societal response to the climate challenge, by establishing the basis
by which mitigative and adaptive capacity can be built and sustained.
In examining this perspective, this chapter focuses on several broad
themes.
4�1�2�1 Consumption, disparities, and well-being
The first theme relates to well-being and consumption. The relationship
between consumption levels and environmental pressures, including
GHG emissions, has long been a key concern for SD, with a growing
focus on high-consumption lifestyles in particular and consumption
disparities. A significant part of the literature develops methodologies
for assessing the environmental impacts across national boundaries
of consumption, through consumption-based accounting and GHG
footprint analysis. Important research is now also emerging on the
relationship between well-being and consumption, and how to moder-
ate consumption and its impacts without hindering well-being and
indeed, while enhancing it. More research is now available on the
importance of behaviour, lifestyles, and culture, and their relationship
to over-consumption (Sections 4.3, 4.4).
Research is emerging to help understand ‘under-consumption’, i. e.,
poverty and deprivation, and its impacts on well-being more broadly,
and specifically on the means by which it undermines mitigative and
adaptive capacity (WGII Chapter 20). Energy poverty is one critical
example, linked directly to climate change, of under-consumption that
is well-correlated with weakened livelihoods, lack of resilience, and
limited mitigative and adaptive capacity. Overcoming under-consump-
tion and reversing over-consumption, while maintaining and advanc-
ing human well-being, are fundamental dimensions of SD, and are
equally critical to resolving the climate problem (Sections 4.5, 4.6).
4�1�2�2 Equity at the national and international scales
Given the disparities evident in consumption patterns, the distributional
implications of climate response strategies are critically important. As
recent history shows, understanding how policies affect different seg-
ments of the population is essential to designing and implementing
politically acceptable and effective national climate response strat-
egies. A transition perceived as just would attract a greater level of
public support for the substantial techno-economic, institutional, and
lifestyle shifts needed to reduce emissions substantially and enable
adaptive responses.
291291
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
At the international level, an equitable regime with fair burden shar-
ing is likely to be a key condition for an effective global response (Sec-
tions 4.2, 4.6). Given the urgency of the climate challenge, a rather
rapid transition will be required if the global temperature rise is to
remain below the politically discussed targets, such as 1.5 °C or 2 °C
over pre-industrial levels, with global emissions possibly peaking as
soon as 2020 (see WGI, Figure 6.25). Particularly in a situation calling
for a concerted global effort, the most promising response is a coop-
erative approach “that would quickly require humanity to think like a
society of people, not like a collection of individual states” (Victor,
1998).
While scientific assessments cannot define what equity is and how
equitable burden sharing should be implementing the Convention and
climate policies in general, they can help illuminate the implications of
alternative choices and their ethical basis (Section 4.6, also Sections
3.2, 3.3, 6.3.6, 13.4.3).
Box 4�1 | Sustainable development and climate change mitigation in developing countries
The interconnectedness of climate change, sustainable develop-
ment, and equity poses serious challenges for developing coun-
tries but it also presents opportunities.
Developing countries are confronted by a daunting mitigation
challenge in the midst of pressing development needs. Developing
country emissions comprised more than half of global emissions
in 2010, and grew during the preceding decade by an amount
that accounted for the total global emissions rise (JRC / PBL (2013),
IEA (2012a), see Annex II.9; see Section 5.2). In the absence of
concerted mitigation actions, the coming decades would see this
trend prolonged, with a continued growth in global emissions
driven predominantly by developing countries’ rising emis-
sions (see Section 6.3). This trend is the unsurprising outcome
of the recent economic growth in many developing countries.
The increase in emissions coincided with a number of positive
developments: over the past decade, the overall poverty rate has
declined, maternal and child mortality have fallen, the prevalence
of several preventable diseases has decreased, and access to safe
drinking water and sanitation has expanded, while the Human
Development Index (HDI) across nations has risen and its conver-
gence has become more pronounced. This “rise of the South” has
been termed “unprecedented in its speed and scale [...] affecting
a hundred times as many people as the Industrial Revolution”
and setting in motion a “dramatic rebalancing” of economic and
geopolitical forces (United Nations, 2011a; United Nations Devel-
opment Programme, 2013).
Notwithstanding these gains, further developmental progress is
urgently needed throughout the developing world. More than
1.5 billion people remain in multi-dimensional poverty, energy
insecurity is still widespread, inequality of income and access to
social services is persistently high, and the environmental resource
base on which humans rely is deteriorating in multiple ways (Mil-
lennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Bazilian etal., 2010; United
Nations Development Programme, 2013). Moreover, unavoid-
able climate change will amplify the challenges of development:
climate impacts are expected to slow economic growth and
exacerbate poverty, and current failures to address emerging
impacts are already eroding the basis for sustainable development
(WGII SPM).
Thus, the challenge confronting developing countries is to preserve
and build on the developmental achievements to date, sharing
them broadly and equitably across their populations, but to do so
via a sustainable development pathway that does not reproduce
the fossil-fuel based and emissions-intensive conventional pathway
by which the developed world moved from poverty to prosperity.
Faced with this dilemma, developing countries have sought evi-
dence that such alternative development pathways exist, looking
in particular to developed countries to take the lead during the two
decades since the UNFCCC was negotiated. Some such evidence
has emerged, in the form of a variety of incipient climate policy
experiments (see Section 15.6, 15.7) that appear to have generated
some innovation in low-carbon technologies (see Section 4.4) and
modestly curbed emissions in some countries (see Section 5.3).
Developing countries have stepped forward with significant
actions to address climate change, but will need to build miti-
gative and adaptive capacity if they are to respond yet more
effectively (see Section 4.6). More broadly, the underlying determi-
nants of development pathways in developing countries are often
not aligned toward a sustainable pathway (see Sections 4.3, 4.5).
At the same time, developing countries are in some ways well-
positioned to shift toward sustainable pathways: most developing
countries are still in the process of building their urban and indus-
trial infrastructure and can avoid lock-in (see Sections 4.5, 5.6).
Many are also in the process of establishing the cultural norms
and lifestyles of an emerging middle class, and can do so without
reproducing the consumerist values of many developed countries
(4.3, 4.4). Some barriers, such as lack of access to financial and
technological resources, can be overcome through international
cooperation based on principles of equity and fair burden sharing
(see Sections 4.6, 6.3).
292292
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
4�1�2�3 Building institutions and capacity for effective
governance
While there is strong evidence that a transition to a sustainable and
equitable path is technically feasible (see Sections 6.1.2, 6.3), chart-
ing an effective and viable course through the climate challenge is not
merely a technical exercise. It will involve myriad and sequential deci-
sions, among states and civil society actors, supported by the broad-
est possible constituencies (Section 4.3). Such a process benefits from
the education and empowerment of diverse actors to participate in
systems of decision making that are designed and implemented with
procedural equity as a deliberate objective. This applies at the national
as well as international levels, where effective governance relating to
global common resources, in particular, is not yet mature.
Any given approach to addressing the climate challenge has poten-
tial winners and losers. The political feasibility of that approach will
depend strongly on the distribution of power, resources, and decision-
making authority among the potential winners and losers. In a world
characterized by profound disparities, procedurally equitable systems
of engagement, decision making, and governance appear needed to
enable a polity to come to equitable and sustainable solutions to the
sustainable development challenge.
4.2 Approaches and
indicators
This section maps out the various conceptual approaches to the issues
of SD (4.2.1), equity (4.2.2), and their linkages to climate change and
climate policy.
4�2�1 Sustainability and sustainable
development (SD)
4�2�1�1 Defining and measuring sustainability
The most frequently quoted definition of SD is “development that
meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs, from the Brundtland
Report (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).
This definition acknowledges a tension between sustainability and
development (Jabareen, 2006), and that development objectives aim
at meeting basic needs for all citizens and securing them in a sustain-
able manner (Murdiyarso, 2010). One of the first definitions of SD
(Prescott-Allen, 1980) refers to a development process that is compat-
ible with the preservation of ecosystems and species.
A popular conceptualization of SD goes beyond securing needs
and preserving the environment and involves three ‘pillars’ or three
‘bottom-lines’ of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social
aspects (Dobson, 1991; Elkington, 1998; Flint and Danner, 2001; Pope
etal., 2004; Sneddon etal., 2006; Murdiyarso, 2010; Okereke, 2011).
There is some variation in the articulation of the three spheres, with
some scholars arguing for an equal appraisal of their co-evolution and
mutual interactions, and others positing a hierarchy with economic
activities embedded in the social matrix, which is itself grounded in the
ecosphere (Levin, 2000; Fischer etal., 2007). This broad SD framework
is equally relevant for rich countries concerned with growth, well-
being, human development, and lifestyles.
A well-known distinction opposes weak sustainability to strong sus-
tainability approaches (Neumayer, 2010). The former relies on the
assumption that human-made capital can replace natural resources
and ecosystem services with a high degree of substitutability. Strong
sustainability, in contrast, takes the view that certain critical natu-
ral stocks such as the climate system and biodiversity cannot
be replaced by human-made capital and must be maintained. Weak
sustainability is often believed to be inherent to economic modelling
that aggregates all forms of capital together (Dietz and Neumayer,
2007), but economic models and indicators can accommodate any
degree of substitutability between different forms of capital (Fleur-
baey and Blanchet, 2013). The linkage between strong sustainabil-
ity and IAMs is discussed in Sathaye etal. (2011). A different but
related issue is whether one should evaluate development paths only
in terms of human well-being, which depends on the environment
services (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005), or also account
for natural systems as intrinsically valuable (McShane, 2007; Attfield,
2008).
Sustainability is closely related to resilience (WII AR5 2.5 and
20.2 20.6; Folke etal., 2010; Gallopin, 2006; Goerner etal., 2009) and
vulnerability (Kates, 2001; Clark and Dickson, 2003; IPCC, 2012a). A
key premise of this direction of research is that social and biophysi-
cal processes are interdependent and co-evolving (Polsky and Eakin,
2011). The biosphere itself is a complex adaptive system, the monitor-
ing of which is still perfectible (Levin, 2000; Thuiller, 2007). Critical per-
spectives on these concepts, when applied to SD analysis, can be found
in Turner (2010) and Cannon and Müller-Mahn (2010).
Although there are various conceptions of sustainability in the litera-
ture, there are internationally agreed principles of SD adopted by
heads of states and governments at the 1992 UN Conference on Envi-
ronment and Development (UNCED) and reaffirmed at subsequent
review and implementation conferences (United Nations, 1992a, 1997,
2002, 2012a). A key guiding principle is: “The right to development
must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environ-
mental needs of present and future generations” (1992 Rio Declara-
tion Principle 3). The Rio principles were reaffirmed at the June 2012
summit level UN Conference on SD.
Box 4�2 | Sustainable development indicators (SDI)
When SD became a prominent consideration in policymaking in
the early 1990s, SDI initiatives flourished. Pressure-state-response
(PSR) and capital accounting-based (CAB) frameworks, in particu-
lar, were widely used to assess sustainability. The PSR approach
was further modified as driving force-state-response (DSR) by the
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)
(2001) and driving force-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR)
by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (UNEP,
1997, 2000, 2002). The System of Integrated Environmental-Eco-
nomic Accounting (SEEA) of the United Nations offers a wealth of
information about the state of ecosystems and is currently under
revision and expansion.
1
The CAB approach is embodied in the
Adjusted Net Savings indicator of the World Bank (2003, 2011),
which is mentioned in Section 4.3 and 14.1 of this report. It is
based on the economic theory of ‘genuine savings’ (understood as
the variation of all natural and man-made capital stocks, evaluated
at certain specific accounting prices), which shows that on a path
that maximizes the discounted utilitarian sum, a negative value for
genuine savings implies that the current level of well-being is not
sustainable (Hamilton and Clemens, 1999; Pezzey, 2004).
General presentations and critical assessments of SDIs can be
found in a large literature (Daly, 1996; Aronsson etal., 1997;
1
Documentation is available at http: / / unstats.un.org / unsd / envaccounting /
seea.asp.
Pezzey and Toman, 2002; Lawn, 2003; Hamilton and Atkinson,
2006; Asheim, 2007; Dietz and Neumayer, 2007; Neumayer,
2010; Martinet, 2012; Mori and Christodoulou, 2012; Fleurbaey
and Blanchet, 2013). This literature is pervaded by a concern
for comprehensiveness i. e., recording all important aspects of
well-being, equity, and nature preservation for current and future
generations and accuracy i. e., avoiding arbitrary or unreliable
weighting of the relevant dimensions when synthesizing multidi-
mensional information. The general conclusion of this literature
is that there is currently no satisfactory empirical indicator of
sustainability.
A limitation of the PSR model is that it fails to identify causal
relations, and it oversimplifies the links between dimensions.
It is moreover based upon aggregate indices, which lose much
information contained in the underlying indicators. An important
limitation of the SEEA is that social and institutional issues are
essentially left out, and its stock-and-flow approach is problematic
with respect to environmental and social aspects that do not have
a market price. Similarly, computing CAB indicators compounds
the difficulty of comprehensively estimating the evolution of capi-
tal stocks with the difficulty of computing the accounting prices.
Market prices do provide relevant information for valuing capital
stocks in a perfectly managed economy (as shown by Weitzman,
1976), but may be very misleading in actual conditions (Dasgupta
and Mäler, 2000; Arrow etal., 2012).
293293
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
4�2�1�2 Links with climate change and climate policy
The literature on the complex relations between climate change, cli-
mate policies, and SD is large (Swart etal., 2003; Robinson etal., 2006;
Bizikova etal., 2007; Sathaye etal., 2007; Thuiller, 2007; Akimoto etal.,
2012; Janetos etal., 2012). The links between SD and climate issues
are examined in detail in WGII Chapter 20. Mapping out these links is
also important in this WGIII report, and is done in this section.
Three main linkages can be identified, each of which contains many
elements. First, the climate threat constrains possible development
paths, and sufficiently disruptive climate change could preclude any
prospect for sustainable future (WGII Chapter 19). In this perspective,
an effective climate response is necessarily an integral objective of an
SD strategy.
Second, there are tradeoffs between climate responses and broader SD
goals, because some climate responses can impose other environmen-
tal pressures, have adverse distributional effects, draw resources away
from other developmental priorities, or otherwise impose limitations
on growth and development (Sections 4.6, 7.11, 8.9, 9.9, 10.10, 11.9,
12.8). Section 4.4 examines how to avoid such tradeoffs by changing
behavioural patterns and decoupling emissions and growth, and / or
decoupling growth and well-being.
Third, there are multiple potential synergies between climate responses
and broader SD objectives. Climate responses may generate co-bene-
fits for human and economic development (Sections 3.6, 4.8, 6.6, 7.9,
8.7, 9.7, 10.8, 11.7). At a more fundamental level, capacities underly-
ing an effective climate response overlap strongly with capacities for
SD (Sections 4.6, 5.3).
A key message of this report is that designing a successful climate pol-
icy may require going beyond a narrow focus on mitigation and adap-
tation, beyond the analysis of a few co-benefits of climate policy, and
may instead require ‘mainstreaming’ climate issues into the design of
comprehensive SD strategies, including at local and regional levels. Fig-
ure 4.1 illustrates the different perspectives from which climate policy
can be envisioned. In the broadest, boldest perspective, the choice of
the development path (see Sections 4.5, 6.1) is at stake.
A popular conceptualization of SD goes beyond securing needs
and preserving the environment and involves three ‘pillars’ or three
‘bottom-lines’ of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social
aspects (Dobson, 1991; Elkington, 1998; Flint and Danner, 2001; Pope
etal., 2004; Sneddon etal., 2006; Murdiyarso, 2010; Okereke, 2011).
There is some variation in the articulation of the three spheres, with
some scholars arguing for an equal appraisal of their co-evolution and
mutual interactions, and others positing a hierarchy with economic
activities embedded in the social matrix, which is itself grounded in the
ecosphere (Levin, 2000; Fischer etal., 2007). This broad SD framework
is equally relevant for rich countries concerned with growth, well-
being, human development, and lifestyles.
A well-known distinction opposes weak sustainability to strong sus-
tainability approaches (Neumayer, 2010). The former relies on the
assumption that human-made capital can replace natural resources
and ecosystem services with a high degree of substitutability. Strong
sustainability, in contrast, takes the view that certain critical natu-
ral stocks such as the climate system and biodiversity cannot
be replaced by human-made capital and must be maintained. Weak
sustainability is often believed to be inherent to economic modelling
that aggregates all forms of capital together (Dietz and Neumayer,
2007), but economic models and indicators can accommodate any
degree of substitutability between different forms of capital (Fleur-
baey and Blanchet, 2013). The linkage between strong sustainabil-
ity and IAMs is discussed in Sathaye etal. (2011). A different but
related issue is whether one should evaluate development paths only
in terms of human well-being, which depends on the environment
services (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005), or also account
for natural systems as intrinsically valuable (McShane, 2007; Attfield,
2008).
Sustainability is closely related to resilience (WII AR5 2.5 and
20.2 20.6; Folke etal., 2010; Gallopin, 2006; Goerner etal., 2009) and
vulnerability (Kates, 2001; Clark and Dickson, 2003; IPCC, 2012a). A
key premise of this direction of research is that social and biophysi-
cal processes are interdependent and co-evolving (Polsky and Eakin,
2011). The biosphere itself is a complex adaptive system, the monitor-
ing of which is still perfectible (Levin, 2000; Thuiller, 2007). Critical per-
spectives on these concepts, when applied to SD analysis, can be found
in Turner (2010) and Cannon and Müller-Mahn (2010).
Although there are various conceptions of sustainability in the litera-
ture, there are internationally agreed principles of SD adopted by
heads of states and governments at the 1992 UN Conference on Envi-
ronment and Development (UNCED) and reaffirmed at subsequent
review and implementation conferences (United Nations, 1992a, 1997,
2002, 2012a). A key guiding principle is: “The right to development
must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environ-
mental needs of present and future generations” (1992 Rio Declara-
tion Principle 3). The Rio principles were reaffirmed at the June 2012
summit level UN Conference on SD.
Box 4�2 | Sustainable development indicators (SDI)
When SD became a prominent consideration in policymaking in
the early 1990s, SDI initiatives flourished. Pressure-state-response
(PSR) and capital accounting-based (CAB) frameworks, in particu-
lar, were widely used to assess sustainability. The PSR approach
was further modified as driving force-state-response (DSR) by the
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)
(2001) and driving force-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR)
by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (UNEP,
1997, 2000, 2002). The System of Integrated Environmental-Eco-
nomic Accounting (SEEA) of the United Nations offers a wealth of
information about the state of ecosystems and is currently under
revision and expansion.
1
The CAB approach is embodied in the
Adjusted Net Savings indicator of the World Bank (2003, 2011),
which is mentioned in Section 4.3 and 14.1 of this report. It is
based on the economic theory of ‘genuine savings’ (understood as
the variation of all natural and man-made capital stocks, evaluated
at certain specific accounting prices), which shows that on a path
that maximizes the discounted utilitarian sum, a negative value for
genuine savings implies that the current level of well-being is not
sustainable (Hamilton and Clemens, 1999; Pezzey, 2004).
General presentations and critical assessments of SDIs can be
found in a large literature (Daly, 1996; Aronsson etal., 1997;
1
Documentation is available at http: / / unstats.un.org / unsd / envaccounting /
seea.asp.
Pezzey and Toman, 2002; Lawn, 2003; Hamilton and Atkinson,
2006; Asheim, 2007; Dietz and Neumayer, 2007; Neumayer,
2010; Martinet, 2012; Mori and Christodoulou, 2012; Fleurbaey
and Blanchet, 2013). This literature is pervaded by a concern
for comprehensiveness i. e., recording all important aspects of
well-being, equity, and nature preservation for current and future
generations and accuracy i. e., avoiding arbitrary or unreliable
weighting of the relevant dimensions when synthesizing multidi-
mensional information. The general conclusion of this literature
is that there is currently no satisfactory empirical indicator of
sustainability.
A limitation of the PSR model is that it fails to identify causal
relations, and it oversimplifies the links between dimensions.
It is moreover based upon aggregate indices, which lose much
information contained in the underlying indicators. An important
limitation of the SEEA is that social and institutional issues are
essentially left out, and its stock-and-flow approach is problematic
with respect to environmental and social aspects that do not have
a market price. Similarly, computing CAB indicators compounds
the difficulty of comprehensively estimating the evolution of capi-
tal stocks with the difficulty of computing the accounting prices.
Market prices do provide relevant information for valuing capital
stocks in a perfectly managed economy (as shown by Weitzman,
1976), but may be very misleading in actual conditions (Dasgupta
and Mäler, 2000; Arrow etal., 2012).
294294
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
4�2�2 Equity and its relation to sustainable
development and climate change
Equity is prominent in research and policy debates about SD and cli-
mate, both as distributive equity (distribution of resources in contexts
such as burden sharing, distribution of well-being in the broader context
of social justice, see Sections 3.3, 4.4, 4.6) and procedural equity (par-
ticipation in decision making, see Section 4.3). Various aspects of the
general concept, as developed in social ethics, are introduced in Section
3.2 under the name of fairness and justice. (In this chapter the terms
equity, fairness, and justice are not distinguished but are used according
to common usage depending on context). The aim of this subsection is
to analyze the links between equity, SD, and climate issues.
Equity between generations underlies the very notion of SD. Figure 4.2,
a variant of a figure from Howarth and Norgaard (1992), illustrates sus-
tainability as the possibility for future generations to reach at least the
same level of well-being as the current generation. It shows in particu-
lar that sustainability is a matter of distributive equity, not of efficiency,
even if eliminating inefficiencies affecting future sustainable well-being
may improve sustainability, as stressed in Grubb etal. (2013).
There has been a recent surge of research on intergenerational equity,
motivated by dissatisfaction with the tradition of discounting the utility
of future generations in the analysis of growth paths (see, e. g., Asheim
(2007), Roemer and Suzumura (2002) for recent syntheses). The debate
on discounting is reviewed in Section 3.6.2. Recent literature presents
new arguments deriving the imperative of sustaining well-being across
generations from more basic equity principles (Asheim etal., 2001, 2012).
Equity within every generation is often considered an intrinsic compo-
nent of SD linked to the social pillar. The Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) may be seen as one indication of a more explicit global
commitment to the social pillar (United Nations, 2000). Yet, the rela-
tion between equity within generations and SD is complex. Attempting
to meet the needs of the world’s poor by proliferating the consumption
patterns and production processes of the world’s richest populations
would be unsustainable (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005;
Rockström etal., 2009b; Steffen etal., 2011; IPCC, 2014). Such a sce-
nario would not likely play out well for the world’s poor. Environmental
issues are interwoven with the fabric of racial, social, and economic
injustice. Environmental costs and benefits are often distributed so
that those who already suffer other socio-economic disadvantages
tend to bear the greatest burden (Okereke, 2011).
Figure 4.3 illustrates the normative framework in which a SD path can
be grounded on certain values (well-being, equity) and interrelated
goals (development and conservation), and the synergies and tradeoffs
between SD and climate policy, with procedural equity and iterative
learning nurturing each step, from conceptualization to implementation.
In the rest of this section, we focus on one key dimension of equity
that is of central importance to international negotiations toward an
effective global response to climate change. As in many other contexts,
fundamental questions of resource allocation and burden sharing arise
in climate change, and therefore equity principles are invoked and
debated. Three lines of argument have been put forward to justify a
reference to equity in this context (Section 4.6 examines the details of
burden sharing principles and frameworks in a climate regime.)
The first justification is the normative claim that it is morally proper
to allocate burdens associated with our common global climate chal-
lenge according to ethical principles. The broad set of ethical arguments
for ascribing moral obligations to individual nations has been reviewed
in Section 3.3, drawing implicitly upon a cosmopolitan view of justice,
which posits that some of the basic rights and duties that arise between
people within nations also hold between people of different nations.
The second justification is the legal claim that countries have accepted
treaty commitments to act against climate change that include
the commitment to share the burden of action equitably. This claim
derives from the fact that signatories to the UNFCCC have agreed that:
“Parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present
and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in
accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and
respective capabilities” (UNFCCC, 2002). These commitments are con-
sistent with a body of soft law and norms such as the no-harm rule
according to which a state must prevent, reduce or control the risk
of serious environmental harm to other states (Stockholm Convention
(UNEP, 1972), Rio declaration (United Nations, 1992b), Stone, 2004).
In addition, it has been noted that climate change adversely affects a
range of human rights that are incorporated in widely ratified treaties
(Aminzadeh, 2006; Humphreys, 2009; Knox, 2009; Wewerinke and Yu
III, 2010; Bodansky, 2010).
Figure 4�1 | Three frameworks for thinking about mitigation.
Looking at
Mitigation
Only
Choosing a Pathway -
Taking all Relevant Objectives
(Including Mitigation) Into Account at the Same Time
Looking at Mitigation -
Taking Into Account some Implications for
Other Aspects of SD and Equity (Cobenefits)
Maximum Sustainable Well-Being Level of Future Generations
Unsustainable
Sustainable
45° Line
Possibility Frontier
Well-Being Level of Current Generation
Figure 4�2 | The well-being level of the current generation is sustainable if it does not
exceed the maximum sustainable well-being level of the future generations indepen-
dently of whether one is or is not on the possibility frontier. Modified from Howarth and
Norgaard (1992).
Values
Goals
Strategy
Path Followed
Sustainable
Development Path
Development
Policies
Climate Policy
Human
Development
Environmental
Conservation
Procedural Equity
Well-Being
Inter-Generational Equity
Intra-Generational Equity
Synergies
and Trade-Offs
Iterative Learning
Conceptualisation
Design
Implementation
Figure 4�3 | Links between SD, equity, and climate policy.
295295
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
The third justification is the positive claim that equitable burden shar-
ing will be necessary if the climate challenge is to be effectively met.
This claim derives from the fact that climate change is a classic com-
mons problem (Hardin, 1968; Soroos, 1997; Buck, 1998; Folke, 2007)
(also see Section 13.2.1.1). As with any commons problem, the solu-
tion lies in collective action (Ostrom, 1990). This is true at the global
scale as well as the local, only more challenging to achieve (Ostrom
etal., 1999). Inducing cooperation relies, to an important degree, on
convincing others that one is doing one’s fair share. This is why notions
of equitable burden-sharing are considered important in motivating
actors to effectively respond to climate change. They are even more
important given that actors are not as equal as the proverbial ‘com-
moners’, where the very name asserts homogeneity (Milanović etal.,
2007). To the contrary, there are important asymmetries or inequalities
between stakeholders (Okereke etal., 2009; Okereke, 2010): asymme-
try in contribution to climate change (past and present), in vulnerabil-
ity to the impacts of climate change, in capacity to mitigate the prob-
lem, and in power to decide on solutions. Other aspects of the relation
between intragenerational equity and climate response include the
gender issues noted in 4.3, and the role of virtue ethics and citizen
attitudes in changing lifestyles and behaviours (Dobson, 2007; Lane,
2012), a topic analyzed in Section 4.4.
Young (2013) has identified three general conditions which apply
to the climate context under which the successful formation and
eventual effectiveness of a collective action regime may hinge on
equitable burden sharing: the absence of actors who are powerful
enough to coercively impose their preferred burden sharing arrange-
ments; the inapplicability of standard utilitarian methods of calculat-
ing costs and benefits; and the fact that regime effectiveness depends
on a long-term commitment of members to implement its terms. With
respect to climate change, it has long been noted that a regime that
many members find unfair will face severe challenges to its adoption
or be vulnerable to festering tensions that jeopardize its effectiveness
(Harris, 1996; Müller, 1999; Young, 2012). Specifically, any attempt to
protect the climate by keeping living standards low for a large part
of the world population will face strong political resistance, and will
almost certainly fail (Roberts and Parks, 2007; Baer etal., 2009). While
costs of participation may provide incentives for non-cooperation or
defection in the short-term, the climate negotiations are not a one-
shot game, and they are embedded in a much broader global context;
climate change is only one of many global problems environmental,
economic, and social that will require effective cooperative global
governance if development and indeed human welfare is to be
sustained in the long term (Singer, 2004; Jasanoff, 2004; Speth and
Haas, 2006; Kjellen, 2008).
Despite these three lines of justification, the question of the role that
equity does or should play in the establishment of global climate policy
and burden sharing in particular is nonetheless controversial (Victor,
1998). The fact that there is no universally accepted global authority
to enforce participation is taken by some to mean that sovereignty,
not equity is the prevailing principle. Such a conception implies that
the bottom-line criterion for a self-enforcing (Barrett, 2005) coopera-
tive agreement would be simply that everyone is no worse off than
at the status quo. This has been termed “International Paretianism”
(Posner and Weisbach, 2010), and its ironic, even perverse results have
been pointed out: “an optimal climate treaty could well require side
payments to rich countries like the United States and rising countries
like China, and indeed possibly from very poor countries which are
extremely vulnerable to climate change such as Bangladesh.” (Pos-
ner and Weisbach, 2010).
4�2�2 Equity and its relation to sustainable
development and climate change
Equity is prominent in research and policy debates about SD and cli-
mate, both as distributive equity (distribution of resources in contexts
such as burden sharing, distribution of well-being in the broader context
of social justice, see Sections 3.3, 4.4, 4.6) and procedural equity (par-
ticipation in decision making, see Section 4.3). Various aspects of the
general concept, as developed in social ethics, are introduced in Section
3.2 under the name of fairness and justice. (In this chapter the terms
equity, fairness, and justice are not distinguished but are used according
to common usage depending on context). The aim of this subsection is
to analyze the links between equity, SD, and climate issues.
Equity between generations underlies the very notion of SD. Figure 4.2,
a variant of a figure from Howarth and Norgaard (1992), illustrates sus-
tainability as the possibility for future generations to reach at least the
same level of well-being as the current generation. It shows in particu-
lar that sustainability is a matter of distributive equity, not of efficiency,
even if eliminating inefficiencies affecting future sustainable well-being
may improve sustainability, as stressed in Grubb etal. (2013).
There has been a recent surge of research on intergenerational equity,
motivated by dissatisfaction with the tradition of discounting the utility
of future generations in the analysis of growth paths (see, e. g., Asheim
(2007), Roemer and Suzumura (2002) for recent syntheses). The debate
on discounting is reviewed in Section 3.6.2. Recent literature presents
new arguments deriving the imperative of sustaining well-being across
generations from more basic equity principles (Asheim etal., 2001, 2012).
Equity within every generation is often considered an intrinsic compo-
nent of SD linked to the social pillar. The Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) may be seen as one indication of a more explicit global
commitment to the social pillar (United Nations, 2000). Yet, the rela-
tion between equity within generations and SD is complex. Attempting
to meet the needs of the world’s poor by proliferating the consumption
patterns and production processes of the world’s richest populations
would be unsustainable (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005;
Rockström etal., 2009b; Steffen etal., 2011; IPCC, 2014). Such a sce-
nario would not likely play out well for the world’s poor. Environmental
issues are interwoven with the fabric of racial, social, and economic
injustice. Environmental costs and benefits are often distributed so
that those who already suffer other socio-economic disadvantages
tend to bear the greatest burden (Okereke, 2011).
Figure 4.3 illustrates the normative framework in which a SD path can
be grounded on certain values (well-being, equity) and interrelated
goals (development and conservation), and the synergies and tradeoffs
between SD and climate policy, with procedural equity and iterative
learning nurturing each step, from conceptualization to implementation.
In the rest of this section, we focus on one key dimension of equity
that is of central importance to international negotiations toward an
Figure 4�1 | Three frameworks for thinking about mitigation.
Looking at
Mitigation
Only
Choosing a Pathway -
Taking all Relevant Objectives
(Including Mitigation) Into Account at the Same Time
Looking at Mitigation -
Taking Into Account some Implications for
Other Aspects of SD and Equity (Cobenefits)
Maximum Sustainable Well-Being Level of Future Generations
Unsustainable
Sustainable
45° Line
Possibility Frontier
Well-Being Level of Current Generation
Figure 4�2 | The well-being level of the current generation is sustainable if it does not
exceed the maximum sustainable well-being level of the future generations indepen-
dently of whether one is or is not on the possibility frontier. Modified from Howarth and
Norgaard (1992).
Values
Goals
Strategy
Path Followed
Sustainable
Development Path
Development
Policies
Climate Policy
Human
Development
Environmental
Conservation
Procedural Equity
Well-Being
Inter-Generational Equity
Intra-Generational Equity
Synergies
and Trade-Offs
Iterative Learning
Conceptualisation
Design
Implementation
Figure 4�3 | Links between SD, equity, and climate policy.
296296
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
However, both critics and advocates of the importance of equity in
the climate negotiations acknowledge that governments can choose
to act on moral rather than purely self-interested principles (DeCanio
and Fremstad, 2010; Posner and Weisbach, 2010, 2012; Baer, 2013;
Jamieson, 2013) (see also Section 3.10). Whether or not states behave
as rational actors, given the significant global gains to be had from
cooperation, this leaves ample room for discussion of the role of equity
in the distribution of those global gains, while still leaving all parties
better off (Stone, 2004).
While the above discussion focuses on equity among nations, equally
relevant concerns regarding equity within nations also arise, and
indeed can be overriding determinants of the prospects for climate pol-
icy to be adopted. Demands for equity have been articulated by labour
communities primarily in terms of a just transition (International
Labour Office, 2010; Newell and Mulvaney, 2013), and often by mar-
ginalized populations and racial minorities in terms of environmental
justice and just sustainability (Agyeman and Evans, 2004; Walker and
Bulkeley, 2006; Shiva, 2008). While the particular demands are highly
location- and context-specific, the broad concerns are procedural and
about distributive justice with reduced power asymmetries, as under-
scored throughout this chapter.
4.3 Determinants, drivers
and barriers
This section explores the determinants of SD, emphasizing how each
influences the extent to which societies can balance the economic,
social, and environmental pillars of SD, while highlighting potential
synergies and tradeoffs for the building of mitigative and adaptive
capacity and the realization of effective and equitable mitigation and
adaptation strategies. Determinants refer to social processes, proper-
ties, and artefacts, as well as natural resources, which together con-
dition and mediate the course of societal development, and thus the
prospects for SD. When determinants facilitate SD they act as drivers
and when they constrain it they act as barriers.
The determinants discussed include: the legacy of development rela-
tions; governance and political economy; population and demography;
human and social capital; behaviour, culture, and values; technology and
innovation processes; natural resources; and finance and investment.
These determinants are interdependent, characterized by feedbacks that
blur the distinction between cause and effect, and their relative impor-
tance depends on context see analogous discussion in the context
of GHG emission drivers in Section 5.3. They are not unique, and other
determinants such as leadership (Jones and Olken, 2005), randomness
(Holling, 1973; Arthur, 1989), or human nature (Wilson, 1978) could be
added to the list, but they are less amenable to deliberate intervention
by policy-makers and other decision makers and have therefore been
excluded. What follows lays the foundations for understanding concepts
that recur throughout this chapter and those that follow.
4�3�1 Legacy of development relations
Following World War II, security, economic, and humanitarian relations
between rich nations and poor nations were comingled and addressed
under the umbrella of ‘development’ (Truman, 1949; Sachs, Wolfgang,
1999). Differing perspectives on the mixed outcomes of six decades
of development, and what the outcomes may indicate about underly-
ing intentions and capabilities, inform different actors in different ways
as to what will work to address climate change and the transition
to SD. During the 1950s and 1960s, for example, expectations were
that poverty would be reduced dramatically by the end of the cen-
tury (Rist, 2003). It was widely believed that economic development
could be instigated through aid from richer nations, both financial and
in kind. Development was seen as a process of going through stages
starting with transforming traditional agriculture through education,
the introduction of new agricultural technologies, improved access to
capital for farm improvements, and the construction of transportation
infrastructure to facilitate markets. Improved agriculture would release
workers for an industrial stage and thereby increase opportunities
for education and commercial development in cities. As development
proceeded, nations would increasingly acquire their own scientific
capabilities and, later, sophisticated governance structures to regulate
finance and industry in the public good, becoming well-rounded, well-
governed economies comparable to those of rich nations.
By the 1970s, however, it was clear that development was not on a
path to fulfilling these linear expectations because: 1) contributions
of aid from the rich nations were not at levels anticipated; 2) tech-
nological and institutional changes were only partially successful,
proved inappropriate, or had unpredicted, unfortunate consequences;
3) requests for military aid and the security and economic objectives of
richer nations in the context of the Cold War were frequently given pri-
ority over poverty reduction; and 4) graft, patronage, and the favouring
of special interests diverted funds from poverty reduction. The general
belief that nations naturally went through stages of development to
become well-rounded economies faded by the early 1980s. Greater
participation in global trade, with its implied specialization, was
invoked as the path to economic growth. Diverse other efforts were
made to improve how development worked, but with only modest suc-
cess, leaving many in rich and poor nations concerned about develop-
ment process and prospects (United Nations, 2011a).
Layering the goal of environmental sustainability onto the goal of
poverty reduction further compounded the legacy of unmet expecta-
tions (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).
There have been difficulties determining, shifting to, and governing
for sustainable pathways (Sanwal, 2010) see Section 4.3.2 below.
The negotiation of new rules for the mobility of private capital and
the drive for globalization of the economy also came with new expec-
297297
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
tations for development (Stiglitz, 2002). The Millennium Development
Goals (MDG) established in 2000 to be met by 2015 are an example
of how such expectations were thought to be realizable in the rap-
idly evolving times of the global financial economy. In retrospect and
after the 2008 financial sector induced recession, significant improve-
ments are largely in China and India where economic growth acceler-
ated through private capital flows independent of the MDG process.
Excluding these countries, the record is mixed at best and still poor in
most of Africa (Keyzer and Wesenbeeck, 2007; Easterly, 2009; United
Nations, 2011a). Additionally, since the 1990s, greenhouse gas emis-
sions became another focus of contention (Roberts and Parks, 2007;
Penetrante, 2011; Dryzek etal., 2011). The developed nations became
rich through the early use of fossil fuels and land transformations that
put GHGs in the atmosphere, imposing costs on all people, rich and
poor, through climate impacts that will persist over centuries (Sriniva-
san etal., 2008). Connections between causal and moral responsibility
arose, complicating the legacy of development.
Such legacy of unmet development and sustainability expectations is
open to multiple interpretations. In richer nations, the evidence can be
interpreted to support the views of fiscal conservatives who oppose
aid, libertarians who oppose humanitarian and environmental inter-
ventions, progressives who urge that more needs to be done to reach
social and environmental goals, and some environmentalists who urge
dematerialization and degrowth among the rich as necessary to meet
the needs of the poor. In poorer nations, the legacy similarly supports
various views including a distrust of rich nations for not delivering
development and environmental assistance as promised, cynicism
toward the intentions and conceptual rationales when it is provided,
and also a wariness of development’s unpredicted outcomes.
In both developed and developing nations these diverse sentiments
among the public, policy makers, and climate negotiators contribute
to what philosopher Gardiner (2011b) refers to as the “perfect moral
storm” of climate policy. Some analysts argue that the legacy of devel-
opment and interrelated issues of equity so cloud global climate nego-
tiations that ad hoc agreements and voluntary pledges are the most
that can be achieved (Victor, 2004) and considerations of development
and equity are better left aside (Posner and Weisbach, 2010), although
this leaves open whether such arrangements could provide an ade-
quately ambitious climate response consistent with the UNFCCC’s
objectives. (See Section 4.6.2 for further discussion of perspectives on
equity in a climate regime, and Section 13.4.3 for further discussion of
regime architectures).
4�3�2 Governance and political economy
Governance and political economy are critical determinants for SD,
equity, and climate change mitigation because they circumscribe the
process through which these goals and how to attain them are articu-
lated and contested. The quest for equity and climate change mitigation
in the context of SD thus necessitates an improved understanding and
practice of governance (Biermann etal., 2009; Okereke etal., 2009).
Governance in the broadest sense refers to the processes of interac-
tion and decision making among actors involved in a common problem
(Kooiman, 2003; Hufty, 2011). It goes beyond notions of formal gov-
ernment or political authority and integrates other actors, networks,
informal institutions, and incentive structures operating at various lev-
els of social organization (Rosenau, 1990; Chotray and Stoker, 2009).
In turn, climate governance has been defined as the mechanisms and
measures “aimed at steering social systems towards preventing, miti-
gating or adapting to the risks posed by climate change” (Jagers and
Stripple, 2003). From this definition, it can be seen as a broad phe-
nomenon encompassing not only formal policymaking by states, but
all the processes through which authority is generated and exerted to
affect climate change and sustainability. This includes policymaking by
states but also by many other actors -NGOs, TNCs, municipalities, for
example operating across various scales (Okereke etal., 2009).
Many scholars have highlighted the challenges associated with gov-
erning for SD and climate change (Adger and Jordan, 2009; Levin etal.,
2012). First, it involves rethinking the ways society relates to nature
and the underlying biophysical systems. This is relevant in the con-
text of the growing evidence of the impact of human activity on the
planet and the understanding that extraordinary degrees of irrevers-
ible damage and harm are distinct possibilities if the right measures
are not taken within an adequate timescale (Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment, 2005; Rockström etal., 2009a). Second, governing climate
change involves complex intergenerational considerations. On the one
hand, cause and effect of some environmental impacts and climate
change are separated by decades, often generations, and on the other
hand, those who bear the costs of remediation and mitigation may not
be the ones to reap the benefits of avoided harm (Biermann, 2007).
Third, effective response to climate change may require a fundamental
restructuring of the global economic and social systems, which in turn
would involve overcoming multiple vested interests and the inertia
associated with behavioural patterns and crafting new institutions that
promote sustainability (Meadows etal., 2004; Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment, 2005). This challenge is exacerbated by the huge mis-
match between the planning horizon needed to address global envi-
ronmental problems and climate change and the tenure of decision
makers (Hovi etal., 2009).
Fourth, and finally, SD governance cuts across several realms of policy
and organization. Particularly, the governance of mitigation and adap-
tation is an element of a complex and evolving arena of global envi-
ronmental governance, which deals with other, and often overlapping,
issues such as biodiversity loss, desertification, water management,
trade, energy security, and health, among others (Adger and Jordan,
2009; Brown, 2009; Bell etal., 2010; Balsiger and Debarbieux, 2011; da
Fonseca etal., 2012; Bark etal., 2012). Sites of climate change gover-
nance and policymaking are thus multiple and are not confined to the
UNFCCC and national rule-making processes, a situation which raises
challenges in relation to coordination, linkages, and synergies (Ostrom,
298298
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
2010; Zelli, 2011; Jinnah, 2011) see Sections 13.4, 13.13, 14.1, 15.2,
notably Figure 13.1 for a visual summary.
These considerations explain why climate governance has attracted
more political controversy than other issues in relation to global sus-
tainability and its equity considerations. Some of the main aspects of
this controversy include: who should participate in decision making;
how to modulate power asymmetry among stakeholders; how to share
responsibility among actors; what ideas and institutions should govern
response measures; and where should interventions focus? Questions
of justice are embedded throughout, aggravated by the high stakes
involved and the stark asymmetry among states and others actors in
terms of cause, effect, and capability to respond to the problem (Oker-
eke and Dooley, 2010; Okereke, 2010; Schroeder etal., 2012).
Scholars have long analyzed the above issues within climate gover-
nance, offering a multitude of possible solutions. Concerning participa-
tion, a departure from the top-down approach implied in the Kyoto
Protocol towards a more voluntary and bottom-up approach has been
suggested (Rayner, 2010). Some argue that limiting participation to the
“most capable, responsible and vulnerable” countries can foster prog-
ress toward more stringent mitigation policy (Eckersley, 2012). How-
ever, the latter has been opposed on the basis that it would further
exacerbate issues of inequity (Aitken, 2012; Stevenson and Dryzek,
2012). Others have discussed the need to create spaces for collabora-
tive learning to debate, legitimize, and potentially overcome knowl-
edge divides between experts and lay people in sectoral climate policy
development (Swanson etal., 2010; Armitage etal., 2011; Colfer, 2011;
Larsen etal., 2012) see Sections 13.3.1 and 13.5 for further detail.
On allocation of responsibility, a global agreement has been elusive
not merely because parties and other key actors have differing concep-
tions of a fair allocation (Okereke, 2008), but because the pertinent
policies are highly contentious given the combination of factors at
play, prominent among which are finance, politics, ineffective institu-
tions, and vested interests.
A defining image of the climate governance landscape is that key
actors have vastly disproportionate capacities and resources, includ-
ing the political, financial, and cognitive resources that are necessary
to steer the behaviour of the collective within and across territorial
boundaries (Dingwerth and Pattberg, 2009). A central element of gov-
ernance therefore relates to huge asymmetry in such resources and the
ability to exercise power or influence outcomes. Some actors, includ-
ing governments, make use of negotiation power and / or lobbying
activities to influence policy decisions at multiple scales and, by doing
so, affect the design and the subsequent allocation and distribution
of benefits and costs resulting from such decisions (Markussen and
Svendsen, 2005; Benvenisti and Downs, 2007; Schäfer, 2009; Sandler,
2010) see e. g., Section 15.5.2. The problem, however, also resides
in the fact that those that wield the greatest power either consider it
against their interest to facilitate rapid progress towards a global low
carbon economy or insist that the accepted solutions must be aligned
to increase their power and material gains (Sæverud and Skjærseth,
2007; Giddens, 2009; Hulme, 2009; Lohmann, 2009, 2010; Okereke and
McDaniels, 2012; Wittneben etal., 2012). The most notable effect of
this is that despite some exceptions, the prevailing organization of the
global economy, which confers significant power on actors associated
with fossil fuel interests and with the financial sector, has provided the
context for the sorts of governance practices of climate change that
have dominated to date (Newell and Paterson, 2010).
Many specific governance initiatives, described in Sections 13.13 and
15.3, whether organized by states or among novel configurations of
actors, have focused on creating new markets or investment opportuni-
ties. This applies, for example, to carbon markets (Paterson, 2009), car-
bon offsetting (Bumpus and Liverman, 2008; Lovell etal., 2009; Corbera
and Schroeder, 2011; Corbera, 2012), investor-led governance initia-
tives such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) (Kolk etal., 2008)
or partnerships such as the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Partnership (REEEP) (Parthan etal., 2010). Some scholars find that car-
bon markets can contribute to achieving a low fossil carbon transition,
but require careful designs to achieve environmental and welfare gains
(Wood and Jotzo, 2011; Pezzey and Jotzo, 2012; Springmann, 2012;
Bakam etal., 2012). Others note that such mechanisms are vulnerable
to ‘capture’ by special interests and against the original purposes for
which they are conceived. Several authors have discussed this problem
in the context of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the
European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) (Lohmann, 2008;
Clò, 2010; Okereke and McDaniels, 2012; Böhm etal., 2012).
Governing for SD and climate change requires close attention to three
key issues. First, there is a need to understand current governance as
encompassing more than the actors within formal government struc-
tures, and to understand how choices are driven by more than optimal
decision making theory. Second effective governance requires under-
standing the dynamics that determine whether and how policy options
are legitimized, and then formally deliberated and adopted (or not).
Consequently, it is necessary to examine how these modes of gover-
nance are defined and established in the first place, by whom and for
whose benefit, thus illuminating the relationship and tensions between
effective governance and existing trends in political economy. Third,
there is a need to explore how different modes of governance translate
into outcomes, affecting the decisions and actions of actors at multiple
scales, and to draw lessons about their environmental effectiveness
and distributional implications. While some argue that states should
still be regarded as key agents in steering such transitions (Eckersley,
2004; Weale, 2009), most decision making relevant to SD and climate
remains fundamentally decentralized. A key challenge of governance is
thus to recognize the political economy context of these decision mak-
ers, to ensure procedurally equitable processes that address the alloca-
tion of responsibilities and ensure transparency and accountability in
any transition towards SD.
299299
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
4�3�3 Population and demography
Population variables, including size, density, and growth rate, as well
as age, sex, education, and settlement structures, play a determinant
role in countries’ SD trajectories. Their drivers, in particular fertility,
mortality, and migration, are reciprocally influenced by development
pathways, including evolving policies, socio-cultural trends, as well as
by changes in the economy (Bloom, 2011). In the climate change con-
text, population trends have been shown to matter both for mitigation
efforts as well as for societies’ adaptive capacities to climate change
(O’Neill etal., 2001).
Current demographic trends show distinct patterns in different parts
of the world. While population sizes are on a declining trajectory in
Eastern Europe and Japan, they are set for significant further increase
in many developing countries (particularly in Africa and south-western
Asia) due to a very young population age structure and continued
high levels of fertility. As most recent projections show, the world’s
population is almost certain to increase to between 8 and 10 billion by
mid-century. After that period, uncertainty increases significantly, with
the future trend in birth rates being the key determinant, but it is also
amplified by the uncertainty about future infectious disease mortal-
ity and the still uncertain consequences of climate change on future
mortality trajectories (O’Neill etal., 2001; Lutz and KC, 2010; United
Nations, 2011b; Lee, 2011; Scherbov etal., 2011). The population of
Sub-Saharan Africa will almost certainly double and could still increase
by a factor of three or more depending on the course of fertility over
the coming decades, which depends primarily on progress in female
education and the availability of reproductive health services (Bon-
gaarts, 2009; Bloom, 2011; Bongaarts and Sinding, 2011).
Declining fertility rates, together with continued increases in life-
expectancy, result in significant population ageing around the world,
with the current low fertility countries being most advanced in this
process. Population ageing is considered a major challenge for the
solvency of social security systems. For populations still in the process
of fertility decline, the expected burden of ageing is a more distant
prospect, and the declining birth rates are expected to bring some near
term benefits. This phase in the universal process of any demographic
transition, when the ratio of children to adults is already declining and
the proportion of elderly has not yet increased, is considered a window
of opportunity for economic development, which may also result in an
economic rebound effect leading to higher per capita consumption and
emissions (Bloom and Canning, 2000).
Low development is widely understood to contribute to high population
growth, which declines only after the appearance of widespread access
to key developmental needs such as perinatal and maternal healthcare,
and female education and empowerment. Conversely, high population
growth is widely regarded as an obstacle to SD because it tends to
make efforts such as the provision of clean drinking water and agricul-
tural goods and the expansion of health services and school enrollment
rates difficult (Dyson, 2006; Potts, 2007; Pimentel and Paoletti, 2009).
This has given rise to the fear of a vicious circle of underdevelopment
and gender inequity yielding high population growth and environmen-
tal degradation, in turn inhibiting the development necessary to bring
down fertility (Caole and Hoover, 1958; Ehrlich and Holdren, 1971;
Dasgupta, 1993). However, history shows that countries can break
this vicious circle with the right social policies, with an early emphasis
on education and family planning; prominent examples include South
Korea and Mauritius, which were used in the 1950s as textbook exam-
ples of countries trapped in such a vicious circle (Meade, 1967).
With respect to adaptation to climate change, the literature on popula-
tion and environment has begun to explore more closely people’s vul-
nerability to climate stressors, including variability and extreme events,
and to analyze their adaptive capacity and reliance on environmen-
tal resources to cope with adversities and adapt to gradual changes
and shocks (Bankoff etal., 2004; Adger etal., 2009) see also Section
4.6.1 and WGII AR5. Generally speaking, not only does the number of
people matter, but so does their composition by age, gender, place of
residence, and level of education, as well as the institutional context
that influences people’s decision making and development opportuni-
ties (Dyson, 2006). One widely and controversially discussed form of
adaptation can be international migration induced by climate change.
There is often public concern that massive migration of this sort
could contribute to political instability and possibly conflict. However,
a major recent review of our knowledge in this field has concluded
that much environmentally induced migration is likely to be internal
migration and there is very little science-based evidence for assessing
possible consequences of environmental change on large international
migration streams (UK Government Office for Science, 2011).
4�3�4 Values and behaviours
Research has identified a range of individual and contextual predictors
of behaviours in favour or against climate change mitigation, ranging
from individuals’ psychological needs to cultural and social orientations
towards time and nature (Swim etal., 2009) see Sections 2.4, 3.10,
and 5.5. Below we discuss some of these factors, focusing on human
values that influence individual and collective behaviours and affect
our priorities and actions concerning the pursuit of SD, equity goals,
and climate mitigation. Values have been defined as “enduring beliefs
that pertain to desirable end states or behaviours, transcend specific
situations, guide selection or evaluation of behaviour and events and
are ordered by importance” (Pepper etal., 2009; citing Schwartz and
Bilsky, 1987). Values provide “guides for living the best way possible
for individuals, social groups and cultures” (Pepper etal., 2009; citing
Rohan, 2000) and so influence actions at all levels of society includ-
ing the individual, the household, the firm, civil society, and govern-
ment. Individuals acquire values through socialization and learning
experience (Pepper etal., 2009) and values thus relate to many of the
other determinants discussed in this section. Values may be rooted
in cultural, religious, and other belief systems, which may sometimes
conflict with scientific understandings of environmental risks. In par-
300300
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
ticular, distinct values may influence perceptions and interpretations of
climate impacts and hence climate responses (Wolf etal., 2013).
The relevance of values to SD and, particularly, to ecologically conscious
(consumer) behaviour, is related to the nature of environmental issues as
‘social dilemmas’, where short-term narrow individual interests conflict
with the longer term social interest (Pepper etal., 2009). Researchers
have highlighted the role of non-selfish values that promote the welfare
of others (including nature), noting that some but not all indigenous
societies are known to focus on ‘collective’ as opposed to ‘individual’
interests and values, which often result in positive resource conservation
strategies and wellbeing (Gadgil etal., 1993; Sobrevila, 2008; Watson
etal., 2011). However, it is well known that a range of factors also medi-
ate the impact of values on behaviour so that the link from values to
ecologically conscious behaviour is often loose (Pepper etal., 2009).
In fact, this ‘value-action’ gap suggests that pursuing climate change
mitigation and SD globally may require substantial changes in behav-
iour in the short term along with a transformation of human values
in the long term, e. g., progressively changing conceptions and atti-
tudes toward biophysical systems and human interaction (Gladwin
etal., 1995; Leiserowitz etal., 2005; Vlek and Steg, 2007; Folke etal.,
2011a). Changing human values would require a better understanding
of cross-cultural behavioural differences that in turn relate to environ-
mental, economic, and political histories (Norenzayan, 2011).
Behavioural change can be induced by changes in formal and civil
institutions and governance, human values (Jackson, 2005a; Folke
etal., 2011a; Fischer etal., 2012), perceptions of risk and causality, and
economic incentives. Removing perverse subsidies for environmentally
harmful products, favouring greener consumption and technologies,
adopting more comprehensive forms of biophysical and economic
accounting, and providing safer working conditions are considered
central for achieving pro-SD behavioural change (Lebel and Lorek,
2008; Le Blanc, 2010; Thøgersen, 2010). Yet behaviour experiments
(Osbaldiston and Schott, 2012) suggest there is no ‘silver bullet’ for
fostering ecologically conscious behaviour, as favourable actions (e. g.,
to conserve energy) are triggered by different stimuli, including infor-
mation, regulation or economic rewards, and influenced by the nature
of the issue itself. Furthermore, people are able to “express both rela-
tively high levels of environmental concern and relatively high levels of
materialism simultaneously” (Gatersleben etal., 2010). This suggests
the need to be issue, context, and culturally aware when designing
specific actions to foster pro-SD behaviour, as both environmental and
materialistic concerns must be addressed. These complexities under-
score the challenges in changing beliefs, preferences, habits, and rou-
tines (Southerton, 2012) see Sections 4.4 and 5.5.2.
4�3�5 Human and social capital
Levels of human and social capital also critically influence a transition
toward SD and the design and implementation of mitigation and adap-
tation strategies. Human capital results from individual and collective
investments in acquiring knowledge and skills that become useful for
improving wellbeing (Iyer, 2006). Such knowledge and skills can be
acquired through formal schooling and training, as well as informally
through customary practices and institutions, including communities
and families. Human capital can thus be viewed as a critical compo-
nent of a broader-encompassing human capability, i. e., a person’s
ability to achieve a given list of ‘functionings’ or achievements, which
depend on a range of personal and social factors, including education,
age, gender, health, income, nutritional knowledge, and environmen-
tal conditions, among others (Sen, 1997, 2001). See Clark (2009) and
Schokkaert (2009) for a review of Sen’s capability approach and its
critiques.
Economists have long considered improvements in human capital a
key explanatory reason behind the evolution of economic systems, in
terms of growth and constant innovation (Schultz, 1961; Healy and
Cote, 2001). Macro-economic research shows a strong correlation
between levels of economic development and levels of human capi-
tal and vice versa (Schultz, 2003; Iyer, 2006), while micro-economic
studies reveal a positive relationship between increases in the quan-
tity and quality of formal education and future earnings (Duflo, 2001).
Gains in human capital can be positively correlated to economic
growth and efficiency, but also to nutritional, health, and education
standards (Schultz, 1995). As such, improvements in human capital
provide a basis for SD, as they shape countries’ socio-economic sys-
tems and influence people’s ability to make informed choices. Seem-
ingly, human capital often also explains the development and survival
of business ventures (Colombo and Grilli, 2005; Patzelt, 2010; Gimmon
and Levie, 2010), which are an important source of innovation and
diffusion of principles and technologies that can contribute to SD and
to ambitious mitigation and adaptation goals (Marvel and Lumpkin,
2007; Terjesen, 2007).
Additionally, a growing body of literature in economics, geography,
and psychology (reviewed in Sections 2.4, 2.6.6 and 3.10 as well as
in WGII Chapter 2) has shown that the diversity of environmental,
socio-economic, educational and cultural contexts in which individu-
als make decisions shape their willingness and / or ability to engage in
mitigation and adaptation action (Lorenzoni etal., 2007). It is impor-
tant to distinguish between formally acquired knowledge on climate
change often based on scientific developments and traditional
knowledge on climate-related issues (Smith and Sharp, 2012), as well
as to recognize that the relative validity of both types of knowledge
to different audiences, and the meaning and relevance of personal
engagement, will be influenced by individual perceptions, preferences,
values, and beliefs. Therefore, knowledge on climate issues does not
alone explain individual and collective responses to the climate chal-
lenge (Whitmarsh, 2009; Sarewitz, 2011; Wolf and Moser, 2011; Berk-
hout, 2012). There is evidence of cognitive dissonance and strategic
behaviour in both mitigation and adaptation. Denial mechanisms
that overrate the costs of changing lifestyles, blame others, and that
cast doubt on the effectiveness of individual action or the soundness
301301
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
of scientific knowledge are well documented (Stoll-Kleemann etal.,
2001; Norgaard, 2011; McCright and Dunlap, 2011), as is the con-
certed effort by opponents of climate action to seed and amplify those
doubts (Jacques et al., 2008; Kolmes, 2011; Conway and Oreskes,
2011).
Among the different definitions of social capital, one of the most
influential was proposed by Fukuyama (2002): the shared norms or
values that promote social cooperation, which are founded in turn
on actual social relationships, including trust and reciprocity. Social
capital appears in the form of family bonds, friendship and collective
networks, associations, and other more or less institutionalized forms
of collective action. Social capital is thus generally perceived as an
asset for both the individuals that recognize and participate in such
norms and networks and for the respective group / society, insofar as
they derive benefits from information, participating in decision making
and belonging to the group. Social capital can be linked to successful
outcomes in education, employment, family relationships, and health
(Gamarnikow and Green, 1999), as well as to economic development
and participatory, democratic governance (Woolcock, 1998; Fuku-
yama, 2002; Doh and McNeely, 2012). Indeed, social capital can also
be sustained on unfair social norms and institutions that perpetuate
an inequitable access to the benefits provided by social organization
(Woolcock and Narayan, 2000), through social networks of corruption
or criminal organizations, for example, that perpetuate the uneven dis-
tribution of public resources, and undermine societies’ cohesion and
physical security.
Scholarship suggests that social capital is supportive for SD (Rudd,
2000; Bridger and Luloff, 2001; Tsai, 2008; Ostrom, 2008; Jones etal.,
2011), having shown that it can be instrumental to address collective
action problems (Ostrom, 1998; Rothstein, 2005), combat injustices
and conditions of poverty and vulnerability (Woolcock and Narayan,
2000), and benefit from resources (Bebbington, 1999; Diaz et al.,
2002), and to foster mitigation and adaptation (Adger, 2003; Wolf
etal., 2010).
4�3�6 Technology
Technology has been a central element of human, social, and economic
development since ancient times (Jonas, 1985; Mokyr, 1992). It can be
a means to achieving equitable SD, by enabling economic and social
development while using environmental resources more efficiently.
The development and deployment of the overwhelming majority of
technologies is mediated by markets, responding to effective demand
of purchasers (Baumol, 2002), and carried out by private firms, where
the pre-requisites of technological capacity and investment resources
tend to be found. However, this process does not necessarily address
the basic needs of those members of society with insufficient market
demand to influence the decisions of innovators and investors, nor
does it provide an incentive to reduce externalized costs, such as the
costs of GHG pollution (Jaffe etal., 2005).
Fundamental objectives of equity and SD are still unmet. For example,
the basic energy and nutritional needs of large parts of the world’s
population remain unfulfilled. An estimated 1.3 billion people lacked
access to electricity in 2010 and about 3 billion people worldwide
relied on highly polluting and unhealthy traditional solid fuels for
household cooking and heating (Pachauri etal., 2012; IEA, 2012b) (see
Section 14.3.2.1). Similarly, the Food and Agricultural Organization
(FAO) indicates that almost 870 million people (mostly in developing
countries) were chronically undernourished in 2010 12 (FAO, 2012).
Achieving the objectives of equitable SD demands the fulfilment of
such basic and other developmental needs. The challenge is therefore
to design, implement, and provide support for technology innovation
and diffusion processes that respond to social and environmental
goals, which at present do not receive adequate incentives through
conventional markets.
Scholars of technological change have, in recent years, begun to
highlight the ‘systemic’ nature of innovation processes as well as the
fundamental importance of social and technical interactions in shap-
ing technological change (see Section 4.5.2.2). Accordingly, as a first
step toward understanding how innovation could help meet social
and environmental goals, a systematic assessment of the adequacy
and performance of the relevant innovation systems would be help-
ful, including an examination of the scale of innovation investments,
the allocation among various objectives and options, the efficiency by
which investments yield outputs, and how effectively the outputs are
utilized for meeting the diffusion objectives (Sagar and Holdren, 2002;
Sanwal, 2011; Aitken, 2012). For example, many reports and analy-
ses have suggested that investments in innovation for public goods
such as clean energy and energy access are not commensurate with
the nature and scale of these challenges (Nemet and Kammen, 2007;
AEIC, 2010; Bazilian etal., 2010). Innovation in and diffusion of new
technologies also require skills and knowledge from both developers
and users, as well as different combinations of enabling policies, insti-
tutions, markets, social capital, and financial means depending on the
type of technology and the application being considered (Bretschger,
2005; Dinica, 2009; Blalock and Gertler, 2009; Rao and Kishore, 2010;
Weyant, 2011; Jänicke, 2012). Appropriately harnessing these kinds of
capabilities and processes themselves may require novel mechanisms
and institutional forms (Bonvillian and Weiss, 2009; Sagar etal., 2009).
At the same time, the role of public policy in creating demand for tech-
nologies that have a public goods nature cannot be overstated (see
also Section 3.11), although these policies need to be designed care-
fully to be effective. In the case of renewables, for example, it has been
shown that intermittent policy subsidies, governments’ changing R&D
support, misalignments between policy levels, sectors, and institutions
can greatly impede the diffusion of these technologies (Negro etal.,
2012). Similarly, in agriculture, while there are many intersections
between mitigation and SD through options such as ‘sustainable agri-
culture’, the potential for leveraging these synergies is contingent on
appropriate and effective policies (Smith etal., 2007) see also Sec-
tions 4.6.1 and 11.10.
302302
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
Sometimes there may be a clear alignment between achieving equi-
table SD benefits and meeting climate goals such as the provision
of clean energy to the rural poor. But in meeting multiple objectives,
potential for conflicts and tradeoffs can also arise. For example, our
likely continued reliance on fossil fuels (IEA 2012b) underlies the cur-
rent exploration of new or well-established GHG mitigation options,
such as biofuels or nuclear power, and other approaches like carbon
dioxide capture and storage (CCS) and geo-engineering, including
solar radiation management techniques, to avoid a dangerous increase
of the Earth’s temperature (Crutzen, 2006; Rasch etal., 2008; IPCC,
2012b). While such technological options may help mitigate global
warming, they also pose potential adverse environmental and social
risks, and thus give rise to concerns about their regulation and gov-
ernance (Mitchell, 2008; Pimentel etal., 2009; de Paula Gomes and
Muylaert de Araujo, 2011; Shrader-Frechette, 2011; Jackson, 2011b;
Scheidel and Sorman, 2012; Scott, 2013; Diaz-Maurin and Giampietro,
2013) see Sections 7.9 and 11.7.
The public perception and acceptability of technologies is country
and context-specific, mediated by age, gender, knowledge, attitudes
towards environmental risks and climate change, and policy procedures
(Shackley etal., 2005; Pidgeon etal., 2008; Wallquist etal., 2010; Cor-
ner etal., 2011; Poumadere etal., 2011; Visschers and Siegrist, 2012)
and therefore resolution of these kinds of tradeoffs and conflicts may
not be easy. Yet the tradeoffs and synergies between the three dimen-
sions of SD, as well as the impacts on socio-ecological systems across
geographical scales will need to be systematically considered, which
in turn will require the acknowledgement of multiple stakeholder per-
spectives. Assessment of energy technology options, for example, will
need to include impact on landscapes’ ecological and social dimen-
sions accounting for multiple values and on energy distribution
and access (Wolsink, 2007; Zografos and Martinez-Alier, 2009).
There are also some crosscutting issues, such as regimes for technology
transfer (TT) and intellectual property (IP) that are particularly relevant
to international cooperation in meeting the global challenge of pursu-
ing equitable SD and mitigation, although progress under the UNFCCC
has been incomplete. For example, TT under the CDM has been limited
to selective conditions and mainly to a few countries (Dechezleprêtre
etal., 2009; Seres etal., 2009; Wang, 2010). IP rights and patent laws
have been shown as promoting innovation in some countries (Khan,
2005), although recent work suggests a more nuanced picture (Moser,
2013; Hudson and Minea, 2013). In fact, IP protection has also been
regarded as a precondition for technology transfer but, again, reality
has proven more complex (United Nations Environment Programme
etal., 2010). A recent study shows that in the wind sector, there are
‘patent thickets’, which might restrain the extent and scope of dissemi-
nation of wind power technologies (Wang etal., 2013). In part, there
are such divergent views on this issue since IP and TT also touch upon
economic competitiveness (Ockwell etal., 2010). As noted earlier, per-
spectives are shaped by perceived national circumstances, capabilities,
and needs, yet these issues do need to be resolved in fact, there may
be no single approach that will meet all needs. Different IP regimes,
for example, are required to meet development objectives at different
stages of development (Correa, 2011). The importance of this issue and
the lack of consensus provide impetus for further analysis of the evi-
dence and for exploration to develop IP and TT regimes that further
international cooperation to meet climate, SD, and equity objectives.
4�3�7 Natural resources
Countries’ level of endowment with renewable and / or non-renew-
able resources influences but does not determine their development
paths. The location, types, quantities, long-term availability and the
rates of exploitation of non-renewable resources, including fossil fuels
and minerals, and renewable resources such as fertile land, forests,
or freshwater affect national economies (e. g., in terms of GDP, trade
balance, and rent potential), agricultural and industrial production
systems, the potential for civil conflict, and countries’ role in global
geo-political and trade systems (Krausmann et al., 2009; Muradian
etal., 2012; Collier and Goderis, 2012). Economies can evolve to reflect
changes in economic trends, in policies or in consumption patterns,
both nationally and internationally. In the context of climate change,
natural resource endowments affect the level and profile of GHG emis-
sions, the relative cost of mitigation, and the level of political commit-
ment to climate action.
Resource-rich countries characterized by governance problems, includ-
ing rent-seeking behaviour and weak judiciary and political institu-
tions, have more limited capacity to distribute resource extraction rents
and increase incomes (Mehlum etal., 2006; Pendergast etal., 2011;
Bjorvatn etal., 2012). Some have negative genuine savings, i. e., they
do not fully reinvest their resource rents in foreign assets or produc-
tive capital, which in turn impoverishes present and future generations
and undermines both natural capital and human development pros-
pects (Mehlum etal., 2006; van der Ploeg, 2011). Furthermore, these
countries also face risks associated with an over-specialization on agri-
culture and resource-based exports that can undermine other produc-
tive sectors, e. g., through increases in exchange rates and a reliance
on importing countries economic growth trajectories (Muradian etal.,
2012). In some countries, an increase in primary commodity exports
can lead to the rise of socio-environmental conflicts due to the increas-
ing exploitation of land, mineral, and other resources (Martinez-Alier
etal., 2010; Mitchell and Thies, 2012; Muradian etal., 2012).
Scholars have not reached definitive conclusions on the inter-relation-
ships between resource endowment and development paths, including
impacts on social welfare and conflict, and prospects for SD. Recent
reviews, for example, note the need to continue investigating cur-
rent resource booms and busts and documenting the latter’s effect on
national economies, policies, and social well-being, and to draw histor-
ical comparisons across countries and different institutional contexts
(Wick and Bulte, 2009; Deacon, 2011; van der Ploeg, 2011). It is clear
though that the state and those actors involved in natural resources
use play a determining role in ensuring a fair distribution of any bene-
303303
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
fits and costs (Banai etal., 2011). Further, economic valuation studies
have noted that systematic valuations of both positive and negative
externalities can inform policymaking relating to resource exploita-
tion, in some cases showing that the exploitation of land and mineral
resources may not always be socially optimal, i. e., the social and envi-
ronmental costs of action may be higher than the economic benefits of
exploitation (de Groot, 2006; Thampapillai, 2011).
These considerations are relevant for mitigation policy for at least
three reasons. First, they raise questions about if and how countries
invest resource rents across economic, social, and environmental sec-
tors for SD (see Section 4.3.8). Second, they suggest that nations or
sub-national actors with abundant fossil fuel reserves have, in princi-
ple, strong economic interest in exploiting them, and thus in opposing
the adoption of policies that constrain such exploitation. The timeli-
ness of this issue is underscored by the growing financial sector atten-
tion (although not yet academic attention) to the potential impact of
a global carbon constraint on the fossil sector (Grantham Institute and
CTI 2013; HSBC Global Research, 2013; Standard & Poor’s, 2013). This
raises the issue of how to compensate resource-rich countries for for-
gone benefits if necessary to win their participation in international
mitigation efforts (Rival, 2010; Waisman etal., 2013). It similarly raises
the issue of compensating (or circumventing) sub-national actors who
are politically powerful enough to impede domestic climate efforts.
And third, they suggest that, if any given resource-rich country faces
increased exposure to climate variability and extreme events, the for-
gone benefits of resource rents may undermine its ability to absorb
increasing adaptation costs. In this regard, a recent analysis of the
relationship between countries’ adoption of mitigation policies and
their vulnerability to climate change confirms that countries that may
suffer considerable impacts of climate change in the future, which
include many resource-rich developing countries, do not show a strong
commitment to either mitigation or adaptation, while countries exhib-
iting strong political commitment and action towards mitigation are
also active in promoting adaptation policies (Tubi etal., 2012).
4�3�8 Finance and investment
The financial system, comprising a large set of private and public insti-
tutions and actors, is the medium by which households, firms, and
collectivities manage insurable risks and fund investments to secure
future returns, thereby laying the foundations for future well-being. As
such, it is a key determinant of society’s development pathway and
thus its prospects for an SD transition.
The financial system is characterized by four structural tensions with
the ideals of SD. First, its dominant private component (banks and
financial markets) is focused on commercial returns and cannot spon-
taneously internalize environmental and social spillovers, even if some
investors’ interest in ‘sustainable investment’ is growing (UNPRI,
2012). Climate change, identified as the “greatest and widest-ranging
market failure ever seen” (Stern and Treasury, 2007), is but one obvi-
ous example of a large societally important cost that is neglected by
capital markets. Second, the private component of the financial system
is also largely unattuned to distributive issues and particularly insen-
sitive to “the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overrid-
ing priority should be given” (World Commission on Environment and
Development, 1987), even if foreign direct investments have contrib-
uted to overall growth in emerging economies. Third, the interests of
future generations may be neglected (although over-investment is also
possible see Gollier, 2013) and within a generation, there are various
governance, organizational and sociological mechanisms contribut-
ing to short-termism (Tonello, 2006; Marginson and McAulay, 2008).
Fourth, the recent crisis has led some to conclude that the financial
system itself is a source of economic instability (Farmer etal., 2012), an
issue reinforced by the recent financialization of the global economy,
with accelerated growth of the financial sector relative to the ‘real’
economy, and an increasing role of the financial system in mediating
short-term speculation as distinct from long-term investment (Epstein,
2005; Krippner, 2005; Palley, 2007; Dore, 2008).
These inherent problems in the financial system are sometimes com-
pounded by hurdles in the economic and institutional environment. The
challenges are felt especially in many developing countries, which face
several investment barriers that affect their capacity to mobilize pri-
vate sector capital toward SD objectives and climate change mitigation
and adaptation. These barriers include the comparatively high overall
cost of doing business; market distortionary policies such as subsidies
for conventional fuels; absence of credit-worthy off-takers; low access
to early-stage financing; lower public R&D spending; too few wealthy
consumers willing to pay a premium for ‘green products’; social and
political instability; poor market infrastructure; and weak enforce-
ment of the regulatory frameworks. Establishing better mechanisms
for leveraging private sector finance through innovative financing can
help (EGTT, 2008), but there are also risks in relying on the private sec-
tor as market-based finance focuses on short term lending, and private
financing during episodes of abundant liquidity may not constitute a
source of stable long-term climate finance (Akyüz, 2012) see Section
16.4 for further discussion and references on barriers, risks, and inno-
vative mechanisms.
While some developing countries are able to mobilize domestic
resources to finance efforts toward SD, the needs for many developing
countries exceed their financial capacity. Consequently, their ability to
pursue SD, and climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in
particular, can be severely constrained by lack of finance. The interna-
tional provision of finance, alongside technology transfer, can help to
alleviate this problem, as well as accord with principles of equity, inter-
national commitments, and arguments of effectiveness see Sections
4.2.2 and 4.6.2. Under international agreements, in particular Agenda
21 and the Rio Conventions of 1992, and reaffirmed in subsequent UN
resolutions and programs including the 2012 UN Conference on Sus-
tainable Development (United Nations, 2012a), developed countries
have committed to provide financial resources to developing countries
that are new and additional to conventional development assistance.
304304
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
4.4 Production, trade, consump-
tion and waste patterns
The previous section has highlighted the role of behaviours and life-
styles and the complex interaction of the values, goals, and interests
of many actors in the political economy of SD and equity. In order to
better understand the possibilities and difficulties to equitably sustain
well-being in the future, this section examines the consumption of
goods and services by households, consumption trends and disparities,
and the relationship between consumption and GHG emissions. It also
discusses the components and drivers of consumption, efforts to make
consumption (and production) more sustainable, and how consump-
tion affects well-being. In order to shed light on important debates
about equity in mitigation, this chapter also reviews approaches to
consumption-based accounting of GHG emissions (carbon footprint-
ing) and their relationship to territorial approaches. So while subse-
quent chapters analyze GHG emissions associated with specific sec-
tors and transformation pathways, this chapter focuses on a particular
group (consumers) and examines their emissions in an integrated way.
The possibility of a SD pathway for the world hinges on ‘decoupling’
(von Weizsäcker etal., 1997, 2009; Jackson, 2005b, 2009). We consider
two types of decoupling at the global scale and in the long term: the
decoupling of material resource consumption (including fossil carbon)
and environmental impact (including climate change) from economic
growth (‘dematerialization’); and the decoupling of human well-being
from economic growth and consumption. The first type (see Sections
4.4.1 and 4.4.3) involves an increased material efficiency and environ-
mental efficiency of production and is generally considered crucial for
meeting SD and equity goals (UNEP, 2011); yet while some demate-
rialization has occurred, absolute levels of resource use and environ-
mental impact have continued to rise, highlighting the important dis-
tinction between relative and absolute decoupling (Krausmann etal.,
2009). This has inspired examination of the second type of decoupling
(Jackson, 2005b, 2009; Assadourian, 2010), including the reduction of
consumption levels in wealthier countries. We address this topic (in
Section 4.4.4) by examining how income and income inequality affect
dimensions of well-being. While the second type of decoupling rep-
resents a ‘stronger’ form than the first, it is also a more controversial
goal, even though the unsustainability of excessive consumption was
highlighted by Chapter 4 of Agenda 21 (United Nations, 1992c).
4�4�1 Consumption patterns, inequality and
environmental impact
4�4�1�1 Trends in resource consumption
Global levels of resource consumption and GHG emissions show
strong historical trends, driven primarily by developments in industrial-
ized countries and emerging economies (see Sections 5.2 and 14.3).
The global annual use (extraction) of material resources i. e., ores
and industrial minerals, construction materials, biomass, and fossil
energy carriers increased eightfold during the 20th century, reaching
about 55 Gt in 2000, while the average resource use per capita (the
metabolic rate) doubled, reaching 8.5 9.2 tonnes per capita per year
in 2005 (Krausmann etal., 2009; UNEP, 2011). The value of the global
consumption of goods and services (the global GDP) has increased
sixfold since 1960 while consumption expenditures per capita have
almost tripled (Assadourian, 2010). Consumption-based GHG emis-
sions (‘carbon footprints’ see Section 4.4.2.2) increased between
1990 and 2009 in the world’s major economies, except the Russian
Federation, ranging from 0.1 0.2 % per year in the EU27, to 4.8 6.0 %
per year in China (Peters etal., 2012) (see Section 5.2.1).
Global resource consumption has risen slower than GDP, especially
after around 1970, indicating some decoupling of economic devel-
opment and resource use, and signifying an aggregate increase in
resource productivity of about 1 2 % annually (Krausmann et al.,
2009; UNEP, 2011). While dematerialization of economic activity has
been most noticeable in the industrialized countries, metabolic rates
across countries remain highly unequal, varying by a factor of 10 or
more due largely to differences in level of development, although there
is also significant cross-country variation in the relation between GDP
and resource use (Krausmann etal., 2009; UNEP, 2011).
4�4�1�2 Consumerism and unequal consumption levels
The spread of material consumption with rising incomes is one of the
‘mega-drivers’ of global resource use and environmental degradation
(Assadourian, 2010). While for the world’s many poor people, con-
sumption is driven mainly by the need to satisfy basic human needs, it
is increasingly common across cultures that people seek meaning, con-
tentment and acceptance in consumption. This pattern is often referred
to as ‘consumerism’, defined as a cultural paradigm where “the pos-
session and use of an increasing number and variety of goods and ser-
vices is the principal cultural aspiration and the surest perceived route
to personal happiness, social status and national success” (Assadou-
rian, 2010, p.187).
Consumerist lifestyles in industrialized countries seem to be imitated
by the growing elites (Pow, 2011) and middle-class populations in
developing countries (Cleveland and Laroche, 2007; Gupta, 2011),
exemplified by the increased demand for space cooling in emerging
economies (Isaac and van Vuuren, 2009). Together with the unequal
distribution of income in the world, the spread of consumerism means
that a large share of goods and services produced are ‘luxuries’ that
only the wealthy can afford, while the poor are unable to afford even
basic goods and services (Khor, 2011).
A disproportionate part of the GHG emissions arising from produc-
tion are linked to the consumption of products by a relatively small
305305
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
portion of the world’s population, illustrated by the great variation in
the per capita carbon footprint between countries and regions at dif-
ferent income levels (Hertwich and Peters, 2009; Davis and Caldeira,
2010; Peters etal., 2011) (see Section 14.3.1). The carbon footprint is
strongly correlated with consumption expenditure. Across countries,
Hertwich and Peters (2009) found an expenditure elasticity of 0.57 for
all GHGs: as nations become wealthier, the per capita carbon footprint
increases by 57 % for each doubling of consumption. Within countries,
similar relationships have been found between household expenditure
and carbon footprint (Druckman and Jackson, 2009; Hertwich, 2011).
Because wealthier countries meet a higher share of their final demand
from (net) imports than do less wealthy countries, consumption-based
emissions are more closely associated with GDP than are territorial
emissions, the difference being the emissions embodied in trade (see
Section 4.4.2 as well as 5.2 and 14.3).
4�4�1�3 Effect of non-income factors on per capita
carbon footprint
Non-income factors such as geography, energy system, production
methods, waste management (GAIA, 2012; Corsten et al., 2013),
household size, diet, and lifestyle also affect per capita carbon foot-
prints and other environmental impacts (Tukker etal., 2010a) so that
the effects of increasing income varies considerably between regions
and countries (Lenzen et al., 2006; Hertwich, 2011; Homma et al.,
2012), cities (Jones and Kammen, 2011) and between rural and urban
areas (Lenzen and Peters, 2010). In this regard, the environmental
impact of specific consumption patterns has been studied intensely in
recent years (Druckman and Jackson, 2009; Davis and Caldeira, 2010;
Tukker etal., 2010a; Hertwich, 2011). At the global level, Hertwich and
Peters (2009) found that food is the consumption category with the
greatest climate impact, accounting for nearly 20 % of GHG emissions,
followed by housing / shelter, mobility, services, manufactured products,
and construction (see Sections 8.2, 9.2, 10.3, 11.2, 12.2). Food and ser-
vices were a larger share in poor countries, while at high expenditure
levels, mobility and the consumption of manufactured goods caused
the largest GHG emissions (Hertwich and Peters, 2009). The factors
responsible for variations in carbon footprints across households at
different scales are further discussed in Sections 5.3, 5.5, 12.2 and
14.3.4.
4�4�2 Consumption patterns and carbon
accounting
4�4�2�1 Choice of GHG accounting method
New GHG accounting methods have emerged and proliferated in the
last decade, in response to interest in 1) determining whether nations
are reducing emissions (Bows and Barrett, 2010; Peters etal., 2011,
2012), 2) allocating GHG responsibility (Peters and Hertwich, 2008a; b;
Bows and Barrett, 2010), 3) assuring the accountability of carbon mar-
kets (Stechemesser and Guenther, 2012), 4) determining the full impli-
cations of alternative energy technologies (von Blottnitz and Curran,
2007; Martínez etal., 2009; Cherubini etal., 2009; Soimakallio etal.,
2011) and of outsourcing of industrial production (see Section 4.4.3.3)
helping corporations become greener (Wiedmann etal., 2009), and 6)
encouraging consumers to reduce their carbon footprints (Bolwig and
Gibbon, 2010; Jones and Kammen, 2011). Methods differ on whether
consumers or producers of products are responsible; whether emissions
embedded in past or potential replacement of capital investments are
included; and whether indirect emissions, for example, through global
land-use change resulting from changing product prices, are included
(Finkbeiner, 2009; Plevin etal., 2010; Plassmann et al., 2010). These
methodological differences have normative implications.
Systems of GHG emissions accounting are constructed according to
certain conventions and purposes (Davis and Caldeira, 2010). Better
ways may be excessively expensive given the plausible importance of
the value of better information in the decision process. Some interests
will plead for standardized techniques based on past data because
it favours them. Others will argue for tailored approaches that make
their technologies or products look good. Producers favour responsibil-
ity being assigned to consumers, as do nations that are net export-
ers of industrial goods. Controversies over GHG emissions account-
ing approaches play into the broader issue of mitigation governance
(see Section 4.4.2.4). And whether carbon markets are effective or
not depends on good accounting and enforcement but what will be
enforced will depend on the accounting measures agreed upon. The
next section discusses consumption-based GHG emissions accounting.
4�4�2�2 Carbon footprinting (consumption-based GHG
emissions accounting)
Carbon (or GHG) accounting refers to the calculation of the GHG
emissions associated with economic activities at a given scale or with
respect to a given functional unit including products, households,
firms, cities, and nations (Peters, 2010; Pandey et al., 2011). GHG
accounting has traditionally focused on emission sources, but recent
years have seen a growing interest in analyzing the drivers of emis-
sions by calculating the GHG emissions that occur along the supply
chain of different functional units such as those just mentioned (Peters,
2010). The result of this consumption-based emissions accounting is
often referred to as ‘carbon footprint’ even if it involves other GHGs
along with CO
2
. Carbon footprinting starts from the premise that the
GHG emissions associated with economic activity are generated at
least partly as a result of people’s attempts to satisfy certain functional
needs and desires (Lenzen etal., 2007; Druckman and Jackson, 2009;
Bows and Barrett, 2010). These needs and desires carry the consumer
demand for goods and services, and thereby the production processes
that consume resources and energy and release pollutants. Emission
drivers are not limited to individuals’ consumption behaviour, however,
but include also the wider contexts of consumption such as transport
306306
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
infrastructure, production and waste systems, and energy systems (see
below and Sections 7.3, 8.2, 9.2, 10.3, 11.2, 12.2).
There is no single accepted carbon footprinting methodology (Pandey
etal., 2011), nor is there one widely accepted definition of carbon foot-
print. Peters (2010) proposes this definition, which allows for all possi-
ble applications across scales: “[t]he ‘carbon footprint’ of a functional
unit is the climate impact under a specific metric that considers all rel-
evant emission sources, sinks and storage in both consumption and
production within the specified spatial and temporal system bound-
ary” (pp. 245). The emissions associated with the functional unit (but
physically not part of the unit) are referred to as ‘embodied carbon’,
‘carbon flows’ or similar terms. (Annex II of this report discusses dif-
ferent carbon footprint methodologies, including Life Cycle Assessment
(LCA) and environmentally-extended input-output (EIO) models.) Car-
bon footprints have been estimated with respect to different functional
units at different scales. Most relevant to the analysis of consumption
patterns and mitigation linkages are the carbon footprints of products
and nations, discussed in turn.
4�4�2�3 Product carbon footprinting
A product carbon footprint includes all emissions generated during
the lifecycle of a good or service from production and distribution to
end-use and disposal or recycling. Carbon footprinting of products (and
firms) can enable a range of mitigation actions and can have co-ben-
efits (Sinden, 2009; Bolwig and Gibbon, 2010). Informing consumers
about the climate impact of products through labelling or other means
can influence purchasing decisions in a more climate-friendly direction
and at the same time enable product differentiation (Edwards-Jones
etal., 2009; Weber and Johnson, 2012). Carbon footprinting can also
help companies reduce GHG emissions cost-effectively by identifying
the various emission sources within the company and along the sup-
ply chain (Sinden, 2009; Sundarakani et al., 2010; Lee, 2012). Those
emissions can be reduced directly, or by purchasing offsets in carbon
markets. There is both theoretical and empirical evidence of a positive
relationship between a company’s environmental and financial perfor-
mance (Delmas and Nairn-Birch, 2011; Griffin etal., 2012). The spe-
cific effect of carbon footprinting on company financial performance
and investor valuation is not well researched, however, and the results
are ambiguous: in the United Kingdom, Sullivan and Gouldson (2012)
found limited investor interest in the climate change-related data pro-
vided by retailers, while a study from North America concludes that
investors do care about companies’ GHG emission disclosures, whether
these occur through a voluntary scheme or informal estimates (Griffin
etal., 2012).
1
(See also Section 15.3.3)
1
In the United States, increasing carbon emissions was found to positively impact
the financial performance of firms when using accounting-based measures,
while the impact was negative when using market-based performance measures
(Delmas and Nairn-Birch, 2011).
There are also risks associated with product carbon footprinting. It
can affect competitiveness and trade by increasing costs and reduce
demand for products made abroad, including in developing countries,
and it may violate World Trade Organization (WTO) trade rules (Bren-
ton et al., 2009; Edwards-Jones et al., 2009; Erickson et al., 2012).
A one-sided focus on GHG emissions in product development and
consumer choice could also involve tradeoffs with other sustainabil-
ity dimensions (Finkbeiner, 2009; Laurent et al., 2012). So there are
reasons to adopt more broadly encompassing concepts and tools to
assess and manage sustainability in relation to the consumption of
goods and services.
4�4�2�4 Consumption-based and territorial approaches
to GHG accounting
Consumption-based accounting of GHG emissions (carbon footprint-
ing) at national level differs from the production-based or territorial
framework because of imports and exports of goods and services
that, directly or indirectly, involve GHG emissions (Davis and Caldeira,
2010; Peters et al., 2011, 2012). The territorial framework allocates
to a nation (or other jurisdiction) those emissions that are physically
produced within its territorial boundaries. The consumption-based
framework assigns the emissions released through the supply chain
of goods and services consumed within a nation irrespective of their
territorial origin. The difference in inventories calculated based on
the two frameworks are the emissions embodied in trade (Peters and
Hertwich, 2008b; Bows and Barrett, 2010). We emphasize that terri-
torial and consumption-based accounting of emissions as such repre-
sent pure accounting identities measuring the emissions embodied in
goods and services that are produced or consumed, respectively, by an
individual, firm, country, region, etc. Responsibility for these emissions
only arises once it is assigned within a normative or legal framework,
such as a climate agreement, specifying rights to emit or obligations to
reduce emission based on one of these metrics. As detailed below, the
two approaches function differently in a global versus a fragmented
climate policy regime.
Steckel etal. (2010) show that within a global regime that internalizes
a cost of GHG emissions, the two approaches are theoretically equiva-
lent in terms of their efficiency in inducing mitigation. For example,
with a global cap-and-trade system with full coverage (i. e., an efficient
global carbon market) and given initial emission allocations, coun-
tries exporting goods benefit from export revenues, with costs related
to GHG emissions and any other negative impacts of production of
those goods priced in, such that the choice of accounting system has
no influence on the efficiency of production. Nor will it influence the
welfare of countries, irrespective of being net exporters or importers of
emissions, since costs associated with these emissions are fully inter-
nalized in product prices and will ultimately be borne by consumers.
In practice, considerations such as transaction costs and information
asymmetries would influence the relative effectiveness and choice of
accounting system.
307307
Sustainable Development and Equity
4
Chapter 4
In the case of a fragmented climate policy regime, one argument put
in favour of a consumption-based framework is that, unlike the ter-
ritorial approach, it does not allow current emission inventories to be
reduced by outsourcing production or relying more on imports to meet
final demand. Hence, some authors (e. g., Peters and Hertwich, 2008b;
Bows and Barrett, 2010) argue that this approach gives a fairer illus-
tration of responsibility for current emissions. Carbon footprinting also
increases the range of mitigation options by identifying the distribu-
tion of GHG emissions among different activities, final uses, locations,
household types, etc. This enables a better targeting of policies and
voluntary actions (Bows and Barrett, 2010; Jones and Kammen, 2011).
On the other hand, reducing emissions at the ‘consumption end’ of sup-
ply chains requires changing deeply entrenched lifestyle patterns and
specific behaviours among many actors with diverse characteristics
and preferences, as opposed to among the much fewer actors emitting
GHGs at the source. It has also been pointed out that identical to the
accounting of production-based emissions there is no direct one-to-
one relationship between changes in consumption-based and global
emissions (Jakob and Marschinski, 2012). That is, if some goods or ser-
vices were not consumed in a given country, global emissions would
not necessarily decrease by the same amount of emissions generated
for their production, as this country’s trade partners would adjust their
consumption as well as production patterns in response to price
changes resulting from its changed demand profile. This has been shown
for China (Peters etal., 2007) and India (Dietzenbacher and Mukhopad-
hyay, 2007): while these countries are large net exporters of embodied
carbon, territorial emissions would remain roughly constant or even
increase if they were to withdraw from international trade (and produce
their entire current consumption domestically instead). Hence, without
international trade, consumption-based emissions of these countries’
trade partners would likely be reduced, but not global emissions.
It is for this reason that Jakob and Marschinski (2012) argue that a
more detailed understanding of the underlying determinants of emis-
sions is needed than what is currently provided by either territorial or
consumption-based accounts, in order to guide policies that will effec-
tively reduce global emissions in a fragmented climate policy regime.
In particular, a better understanding of system interrelationships in a
global economy is required in order to be able to attribute how, e. g.,
policy choices in one region affect global emiss