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Defining climate compatible development

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.

This is why Climate Compatible Development 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), going beyond the traditional separation of adaptation, mitigation and development strategies.

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 include:

  • 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.