Climate change and development are increasingly recognized to be closely interlinked. On one hand, climate change influences key natural and human living conditions, as well as social and economic development. On the other hand, societyâ€™s priorities on sustainable development influence the GHG emissions. As discussed earlier, sustainability needs to be understood as a dynamic system of interdependent forces - economic, social, and environmental.
Climate change mitigation offers an opportunity to revisit development strategies from a new perspective. The challenge is to ensure that actions to address environmental problems, including climate change, will contribute to, rather than obstruct, local and regional economic development. With the growing precedence of climate change and its influence on all walks of life, it is imperative to consider climate change while designing national and regional development paths, and thereby making them more sustainable.
Some of the decisions that are critically important in this context are - use of natural resources, energy consumption, land use, technology choice, investment options, consumption patterns, and lifestyles. All of these can lead to both increasing as well as decreasing GHG emission intensities, which again will have implications for the scope of the mitigation challenge. Seen in a longer-term perspective, these decisions are critical determinants for development pathways.
Following are some of the ways of integrating climate change into development policies to encourage mitigation.
- Making changes in taxes and subsidies so as to promote sustainable development
- Introducing demand-side management (implementation of measures that help the customers to use electricity more efficiently ) programs to reduce electricity consumption and also to cut transmission and distribution losses
- Diversifying away from oil imports and reducing the economyâ€™s energy intensity
- Providing green incentives in the insurance premiums of buildings and transport
Changes in lifestyle and behaviour patterns can contribute widely to climate change mitigation. Management practices can also play a positive role.
Examples of common behaviour patterns that can be changed include the following.
- Consumption patterns
- Education and training
- Building occupant behaviour
- Transport demand management
Lifestyle Changes, Consumptions Patterns and Climate Change
In 2006, a United Nations report asserted...
In 2006, a United Nations report asserted that livestock is responsible for as much as 18% of greenhouse gas emissionsâ€”a higher percentage than that caused by transportation. Since then, it has started a debate over climate change and meat consumption.
The following figure shows a comparison of GHG emission for different dietary habits, in contrast to running a freezer in Europe and in the US.
Comparison of GHG emission for different dietary habits