The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Chapter 13: Linking Climate Change Mitigation and Poverty Reduction: Continued Reform of the Clean Development Mechanism in the Post-Kyoto Era to Promote Sustainable Energy Development on the African Continent
Daniel Behn 13.1 INTRODUCTION There is concern from a human development perspective that demands to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will unjustly deprive developing countries of the same opportunities for industrialization already afforded to the developed world. Humanitarians argue that such a limitation could inequitably deny the developing world from achieving the economic development needed to free its populations from extreme poverty. Yet choices to eradicate extreme poverty or solve the global climate change problem need not be mutually exclusive. Central to both pursuits is the access to, and use of, energy in all of its forms. The links between human development and access to energy are welldocumented.1 Equally documented are the links between fossil fuel consumption and the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.2 One way to pursue both objectives is through global policies that encourage the development of sustainable energy in the developing world. This is particularly important on the African continent where access to energy is limited and extreme poverty is widespread.3 In compelling humanity to embrace such an approach, an opportunity has emerged in the twentyfirst century to both eradicate extreme poverty and stabilize the planet that we collectively inhabit. There are internationally agreed upon targets for extreme poverty reductions and GHG emission reductions: the Millennium Development Goals 263 264 Poverty alleviation and environmental law (MDGs)4 and the Kyoto Protocol5 respectively. Implicit in the achievement of the MDG’s targets is a drastic reduction in energy poverty in the poorest parts of the...
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