Table of Contents

Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Law

Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Law

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series

Edited by Yves Le Bouthillier, Miriam Alfie Cohen, Jose Juan Gonzalez Marquez, Albert Mumma and Susan Smith

This timely book explores the complex relationship between the alleviation of poverty and the protection of the environment. There is every reason to believe that these issues are in many ways interdependent. However this book demonstrates that there are situations where alleviation of poverty and the protection of the environment appear to be in a fraught relationship. The contributing authors illustrate that the role played by law in this relationship, whether at the international or national level, will vary depending on the situation and will be more successful at pursuing environmental justice in some cases than in others.

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

Subjects: development studies, law and development, environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, human rights, law and development, politics and public policy, human rights


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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