Advancing Development Strategies in Line with the Fight against Climate Change
The effects of global warming (rising sea levels, droughts, floods and weather-related disasters) are already visible today, posing new risks to the development of the poorest countries and undermining the socio-economic progress made in recent decades.
It is often because many governments are not capable of quantifying the extent of future impacts that they are less willing to establish and finance development policies tailored to these new challenges.
Nevertheless, it is essential that the effects of global warming are mitigated, by reducing our GHG emissions as quickly as possible. The highest emitting countries must make a marked effort to achieve this, using the resources at their disposal as well as those contributed by the international community.
For their part, stakeholders in the development sector must work to raise awareness of climate issues among decision-makers at all levels, by raising financing for climate change adaptation and GHG-emission reduction policies in the countries of intervention, particularly with regard to long-term investment projects (energy, agriculture, forestry and other land use, transport, buildings, industry and land use planning).
Nationally Determined Contributions and Long-term Strategies: Adopting an Integrated Approach
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are a requirement of the Paris Agreement. Each country must provide regular updates on the actions taken to reduce its GHG emissions. This is the main purpose of the climate plans, which are regularly reviewed. They should provide evidence of the efforts made by each country to keep the rise in global warming well below 2°C, and of more sustained efforts to limit this increase to 1.5°C relative to pre-industrial levels.
Defining each country’s NDCs is mandatory, but the medium-term target set for their implementation by 2030 does not, in most cases, allow for an in-depth review of the development models already being followed. Nor does the tight deadline allow these objectives to be sufficiently ambitious to be fully aligned with the Paris Agreement.
Conversely, the development of long-term strategies (LTS) enables various decarbonization scenarios to be explored for individual countries, helping in the drafting of shorter-term decisions, including those relating to the revised NDC targets. LTSs thus provide an opportunity for governments to forecast the budgetary and financial costs of their initiatives and to identify the policy reforms and priority investments required to build toward a resilient, low-carbon future. They also serve as a valuable guide for finance and development players who want to support sustainable and inclusive development.
As important as an LTS may be, there is scope for improvement. Specifically, these strategies should take into account the Sustainable Development Goals more comprehensively at the design phase. All stakeholders should be involved at each stage of the country’s development to ensure that everyone has a better understanding of the transformations required, which could be the subject of a new social contract.