Climate Change Mitigation and Poverty Reduction – Trade-Offs or Win-Win Situations? – CliMiP
CliMiP aims to analyse the relationship between climate change mitigation and poverty reduction in developing countries from a multi-disciplinary perspective. CliMiP chooses an approach that combines in-depth country studies with a comparative perspective: we examine the mitigation-development link through three case studies of mid-sized industrializing developing countries that are on the path to becoming (or already are) significant GHG emitters: Mexico, South Africa and Thailand.
CliMiP aims to analyse the relationship between climate change mitigation and poverty reduction in developing countries from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
While developed countries remain the largest emitters per capita, developing countries are increasingly contributing to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. In particular, the share of emissions from current middle income countries is expected to increase considerably in the foreseeable future due to high rates of economic growth (IPPC 2007). Curbing GHG emissions in these countries may require the implementation of policies with potentially adverse effects on economic growth and hence on poverty reduction. Yet, some mitigation policies are equally likely to lead to win-win situations that combine mitigation and socio-economic development.
So far, however, research on the precise impacts of mitigation policies on growth and poverty reduction in developing countries is sparse, as mitigation policies in industrialized countries and at a global scale have been prioritized as areas of research.
The experiences of implementing mitigation policies in industrialized countries, in particular in the European Union (EU), are highly relevant to today’s middle income economies. While these experiences can be useful, mitigation policies aimed at decarbonising fast growth processes in developing countries are highly likely to be different from those that reduce the carbon intensity of production and consumption in high-income economies. In general, mitigation options and their implementation will depend on the structural characteristics of the respective economy and the carbon intensity of the resulting growth pattern. Many fast growing middle income economies tend to exhibit some typical features of a developing economy, including a considerable share of the population in poverty, the importance of informal economic activity, rapid urbanization, wide-spread use of traditional and transitional fuels, energy-intensive transport sectors and the imperfect enforcement of taxation and regulation.
Studying the relationship between mitigation policies, economic development and poverty reduction requires a thorough understanding of the context conditions that shape this relationship. That is why we choose an approach that combines in-depth country studies with a comparative perspective. More precisely, we examine the mitigation-development link through three case studies of mid-sized industrializing developing countries that are on the path to becoming (or already are) significant GHG emitters: Mexico, South Africa and Thailand.
First, we intend to assess the domestic climate governance systems and identify the relevant actors, coalitions, and networks, along with their corresponding power status and relations. This lays the foundation for an assessment of relevant country-specific mitigation policies and further mitigation options.
Second, we investigate the poverty and distributional impacts of these mitigation policies using country-specific simulation models. The country-level results on climate governance, mitigation policies, and impact analysis will be then combined in a comparative analysis so as to identify systematic patterns in terms of potential trade-offs and win-win situations in the relationship between mitigation and poverty reduction.
A third perspective, international relations, complements and integrates the analysis of national policies, given that the global discourse, particularly with respect to mitigation in developing countries, appears to be decisive in determining what types of mitigation policies will be viable in the future. In this regard the position of the so-called emerging powers is of great relevance, both in terms of their status as future emitters as well as key negotiators within the global climate regime.