Climate mitigation – the social and political context
This session will address the broader socio-political context in which climate change mitigation takes place. It will argue that mitigation needs to be considered as an integral part of the development process; as opposed to simply being an expensive externality, as is the case currently.
Currently the focus is on mitigation efforts that reduce emissions below a certain target. While these efforts need to continue, other, more positive approaches, including incentives for alternatives, such as low-carbon energy systems need to be explored and encouraged. Focusing on the positive approaches will make it easier to achieve the emission limitation objectives.
Mitigation strategies must also address, and help to achieve socio-economic goals, such as job creation and overall security, and they also have to make business sense.
Sharing of the mitigation burden between different countries as well as between generations will be discussed, considering notions of equity, as well as efficiency. Concepts of “common but differentiated responsibility” and the management of the global carbon space will be addressed.
Finally, given the above considerations, a brief analysis will be provided on the response of the international community through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations, and the outlook for what one can expect in the short and longer terms.