IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

7.9.7 Sustainable Development policies

Appropriate sustainable development policies focusing on energy efficiency, dematerialization and use of renewables can support GHG mitigation objectives. For example, the policy options selected by the Commission on Sustainable Development 13th session to provide a supportive environment for new business formation and the development of small enterprises, included:

  • Reduce information barriers for energy efficiency technology for industries;
  • Build capacity for industry associations, and
  • Stimulate technological innovation and change to reduce dependency on imported fuels, to improve local air pollution and to generate local employment (CSD, 2005).

Individual countries are also trying to achieve these objectives. Most policies are stated in general terms, but their implementation would have to include the industrial sector.

The EU’s strategy for sustainable development highlights addressing climate change through the reduction of energy use in all sectors and the control of non-CO2 GHGs (EC, 2001). The UK’s sustainable development policy incorporates the UK’s emissions trading and climate levy policies for the control of CO2 emissions from industry (UK DEFRA, 2005). As part of its sustainable development policy, Sweden is emphasizing energy efficiency and a long-term goal of obtaining all energy from renewable sources (OECD, 2002). China faces a significant challenge in achieving its sustainable development goals, because from 2002 to 2004 its primary energy use grew faster than its GDP, with over two-thirds of that increase coming from coal. In 2005 the Chinese government emphasized that rapid growth must be sustainable and announced the goal of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20% between 2005 and 2010 (Naughton, 2005). India has launched a series of reforms aimed at achieving industrial sector sustainable development. The 2001 Energy Conservation Act mandated a Bureau of Energy Efficiency charged with ensuring efficient use of energy and use of renewables (GOI, 2004). The Indian Industry Programme for Energy Conservation includes both mandatory and voluntary efforts, with greater emphasis on voluntary approaches (BEE, 2006).

These countries are trying to improve resources use efficiency, waste management, water and air pollution reduction, and enhance use of renewables, while providing health benefits and improved services to communities. Many developed (Sutton, 1998) and developing countries (Jindal Steel and Power, Ltd., 2006; ITC, 2006) encourage companies to help achieve these goals thought dematerialization, habitat restoration, recycling, and commitment to corporate social responsibility.