Research Paper 81, November 2017

Promoting Sustainable Development by Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change Response Measures on Developing Countries

Response measures arise in the context of developed and developing countries taking actions to combat climate change at global, national and regional levels, such as for the protection and stabilization of the climate, emissions leakages and/or the costs of environmental compliance. They may have unintended and adverse economic and social consequences for developing countries’ economies, most often on the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of those economies.

Therefore the economic and social consequences of such actual and potential response measures are an important issue for all developing countries. Such measures may have positive effects, if on balance they support improved access to energy, health care, poverty reduction and decent and quality employment in developing countries. But they may have negative effects, if they constitute a means of transferring the burden of climate change mitigation to developing countries or otherwise distort national and social conditions. The adverse impacts of response measures constitute an additional burden that developing countries should not have to bear—undermining their economic and social development and poverty eradication efforts. These adverse impacts are also contrary to the expectations of the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with regard to common but differentiated responsibility, equity and respective capability.

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Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change Response Measures on Developing Countries


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