Synthesis Report - Question 8

Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report

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8.26 Approaches that exploit synergies between environmental policies and key national socio-economic objectives like growth and equity could help mitigate and reduce vulnerability to climate change, as well as promote sustainable development. Sustainable development is closely linked with the environmental, social, and economic components defining the status of each community. The interconnections among those elements of sustainable development are reflected in Figure 8-3, illustrating that important issues such as climate change, sustainability, poverty, and equity can be related to all three components. Just as climate policies can yield ancillary benefits that improve well-being, non-climate socio-economic policies may bring climate benefits. Utilizing such ancillary benefits would aid in making development more sustainable. Complex interactions among environmental, social, and economic challenges exist, and therefore none of these three types of problems can be resolved in isolation.

WGIII TAR Sections 1.3.4, 2.2.3, & 10.3.2, & DES GP
Figure 8-3: The vertices of the triangle represent the three major dimensions or domains of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. The economic domain is geared mainly towards improving human welfare, primarily through increases in the consumption of goods and services. The environmental domain focuses on protection of the integrity and resilience of ecological systems. The social domain emphasizes the strengthening of human relationships and achievement of individual and group aspirations. Examples of linkages between the three domains are shown along the sides of the triangle. Important issues such as climate change, poverty, equity, and sustainability lie within the triangle and interact with all three domains.

Countries with limited economic resources, low levels of technology, poor information systems, inadequate infrastructure, unstable and weak institutions, and inequitable empowerment and access to resources are not only highly vulnerable to climate change but also to other environmental problems, and at the same time have limited capacity to adapt to these changing circumstances and/or mitigate them. The capacity of these countries to adapt and mitigate can be enhanced when climate policies are integrated with non-climate objectives of national policy development and turned into broad transition strategies to achieve the long-term social and technological changes required by both sustainable development and climate change mitigation.

WGII TAR Chapter 18 & WGIII TAR Sections 1.5.1, 2.4.4, 5.3, 10.3.2, & 10.3.4
8.28 A great deal of interaction exists among the environmental issues that multilateral environmental agreements address, and synergies can be exploited in their implementation. Global environmental problems are addressed in a range of individual conventions and agreements -- the Vienna Convention and its Montreal Protocol, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and the United Nations Forum on Forests -- as well as a range of regional agreements, such as the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. Table 8-3 provides a list of selected examples of such conventions and instruments. They may contain, inter alia, similar requirements concerning common shared or coordinated governmental and civil institutions to enact the general objectives -- for example, formulation of strategies and action plans as a framework for country-level implementation; collection of data and processing information and new and strengthened capacities for both human resources and institutional structures; and reporting obligations. Also they provide a framework within which synergies in scientific assessment can be utilized (see Box 8-1).
WGIII TAR Section 10.3.2

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