Following on COP 15 through 17, the world is moving towards a post-Kyoto Protocol era in which all of the nations of the world will be expected to contribute to decarbonising the global economy. This stems from increased recognition that if developed nations decarbonise, but developing nations remain on their current trajectories of growth of carbon emissions, it will not be possible to achieve the climate change targets set internationally (a less than 2 degrees C rise in mean global temperature, translating roughly into a doubling of the pre-industrial revolution levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere).
While this certainly is the case, it also is the case that the developed nations have a special responsibility to not only decarbonise their own economies, but to help with decarbonisation of the developing nations. This is both a matter of equity, justice and fairness on the one hand, and of economic and political reality on the other. The populations of developing nations are deserving of increased access to the world's resources and economic growth, raising those populations out of poverty and all of the public health problems that come with poverty. The key is in sustainable growth, which means a significantly lower carbon intensity (carbon dioxide released per unit of Gross Domestic Product or GDP). Hence the need to find a path forward in which (i) the developed nations decarbonise, (ii) this decarbonisation produces technology innovation and drives down costs of technologies so they become feasible for the developing nations to adopt and (iii)finance, knowledge and institutional capacity flow from the developed to developing nations to support adoption.
Finding this path requires understanding not only the trajectory of emissions reduction in the currently developed world, but the trajectory that must be achieved in the developing nations as the emerging Durban Platform is defined and put in place.
Follow these links to become a part of this Community of researchers and analysts who will produce guidance to the world's policy makers on trajectories of decarbonisation that allow for sustainable economic growth in the developing nations while protecting the world against the risks of climate change:
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