World Economic and Social Survey 2009

Promoting Development, Saving the Planet

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The separation in practice of climate change and development agendas has distorted the global debate on the two biggest policy challenges facing the international community. According to the Survey, an integrated approach based on the concept of sustainable development is urgently needed. It argues that mitigation and adaptation can move forward effectively only if they are part of a consistent development strategy built around a massive investment-led transformation along low-emissions, high-growth paths. The Survey also contends that a critical role must be played by developmental States able to mobilize public finance and build appropriate technological capacity.

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Technology transfer and the climate challenge

In previous chapters, it has been argued that a big investment push to transform energy production and use and to diversify into activities less vulnerable to climatic shocks is the basis for an integrated response to climate and development challenges. That push is to be spearheaded by public investments but it will be sustained only by crowding private investors into an expanding green economy. It must also be accompanied by the technological advances needed to meet mitigation and adaptation challenges. Those advances will entail diffusing existing low-emissions technologies, scaling up new, commercially ready technologies and advancing new breakthrough technologies.

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