Defining climate compatible development

Defining climate compatible development

Building climate resilience into development

"Climate compatible development" is development that minimises the harm caused by climate impacts, while maximising the many human development opportunities presented by a low emissions, more resilient, future. Climate change and responses to it are changing patterns of innovation, trade, production, population distribution and risk in complex ways. This is creating a new development landscape for policy makers, who need to nurture and sustain economic growth and social development in the face of multiple threats and uncertainties while also cutting emissions or keeping them low.

Tis policy brief argues that in tackling the challenges, climate compatible development moves beyond the traditional separation of adaptation, mitigation and development strategies. Instead it emphasises climate strategies that embrace development goals and development strategies that integrate the threats and opportunities of a changing climate. As a result, it heralds a new generation of development processes that safeguard development from climate impacts (climate resilient development) and reduce or keep emissions low without compromising development goals (low emissions development). Climate compatible development goes one step further by asking policy makers to consider ‘triple win’ strategies that result in low emissions, build resilience and promote development simultaneously.

Key messages:

  • climate change presents threats and opportunities for development. Climate compatible development seeks to minimise these threats and maximise the opportunities
  • it is a response to a new development landscape of risks, uncertainties and changing patterns of innovation, production and trade
  • policy makers must promote growth and social development whilst building climate resilience, cutting emissions or keeping them low
  • unless policy makers integrate mitigation, adaptation and development strategies they will miss efficiency savings and may pursue strategies that solve one problem but aggravate others
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