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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Climate change and the development challenge

We are living in the best of times and in the worst of times. Over the long sweep of its history, our world has never been more prosperous, inventive or interconnected than it is today. Yet, economic insecurity has become ubiquitous (and was becoming so even before the financial meltdown), social divisions are greater than ever, and the health of the planet has never been so fragile. These are interrelated challenges that can be effectively addressed only through cooperation and collective actions, at both the national and international levels.

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