Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: April 2011

15 - Integrating adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development


‘Forget about making poverty history. Climate change will make poverty permanent’

Climate change and sustainable development are urgent problems that are closely related and, therefore, can be most effectively addressed in an integrated fashion. The challenge of sustainable development must confront the unmet development goals of many poorer nations, and this creates additional tensions in north–south negotiations about climate change (Box 13.1). Climate change is one indicator that contemporary society is currently on an unsustainable pathway, and so climate change can be viewed as one component of the broader challenge of achieving global sustainability. In fact, climate change impacts are perhaps most appropriately framed not as isolated phenomena but, rather, as potent threat multipliers that will exacerbate the multiple problems we already face – such as poverty, hunger, illness, water and energy scarcities, environmental degradation, and conflict. Conversely, unsustainable development patterns will not only increase greenhouse gas emissions that worsen climate change, but also increase vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

The need to address climate risks, climate response and development has been recognised by major international institutions as well as a growing number of NGOs and national development agencies. The international development community has started to confront the challenge of integrating adaptation, mitigation and development through several major reports on climate and development, and a debate about ‘mainstreaming’ climate into development policies.

Acker, R. and Kammen, D. M. (1996). The quiet (energy) revolution: Analysing the dissemination of photovoltaic power systems in Kenya. Energy Policy, 24, 81–111.
Adger, N. W., Paavola, J., Huq, S. and Mace, M. J. (2005). Fairness in Adapting to Climate Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Agrawal, A. (2008). The role of local institutions in adaptation to climate change. Paper prepared for the Social Dimensions of Climate Change, Social Development Department. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
Agrawal, A. and Angelsen, A. (2009). Using community forest management to achieve REDD+ goals. In Realising REDD+: National Strategy and Policy Options, eds. Angelsen, A., Brockhaus, M., Kanninen, M., Sills, E., Sunderlin, W. D. and Wertz-Kanounnikoff, S.. Bogor: Centre for International Forestry Research, pp. 201–11.
Agrawal, A., Chhatre, A. and Hardin, R. (2008). Changing governance of the world's forests. Science, 320, 1460–62.
Angelsen, A. (ed.) (2008). Moving Ahead with REDD: Issues, Options and Implications. Bogor: Center for International Forestry Research.
Angelsen, A. (ed.) (2009). Realising REDD+: National Strategy and Policy Options. Bogor: Centre for International Forestry Research.
Angelsen, A. and Kaimowitz, D. (1999). Rethinking the causes of deforestation: Lessons from economic models. The World Bank Research Observer, 14, 73–98.
Angelsen, A. and Kaimowitz, D. (eds.) (2001). Agricultural Technologies and Tropical Deforestation. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing.
Ascher, W. (1999). Why Governments Waste Natural Resources: Policy Failures in Developing Countries. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.
Barker, T., Bashmakov, I., Alharthi, al. (2007). Mitigation from a cross-sectoral perspective. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds. Metz, B., Davidson, O. R., Bosch, P. R., Dave, R. and Meyer, L. A.. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, pp. 619–90.
Basu, J. P. (2009). Adaptation, non-timber forest products and rural livelihood: An empirical study in West Bengal, India. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 6, 382011.
Baudoin, M.-A. and Zaccai, E. (2009). How does the EU integrate climate change issues in its development aid policies? Short term reaction versus ‘capacity approaches’. In IHDP Open Meeting 2009. 7th International Science Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change. 26–30 April, Bonn.
Berry, P. (ed.) (2009). Biodiversity in the Balance: Mitigation and Adaptation Conflicts and Synergies. Sofia, Bulgaria: Pensoft.
Brooks, N., Adger, W. N. and Kelly, P. M. (2005). The determinants of vulnerability and adaptive capacity at the national level and the implications for adaptation. Global Environmental Change, 15, 151–63.
Campbell, B. M. (2009). Beyond Copenhagen: REDD+, agriculture, adaptation strategies and poverty. Global Environmental Change, 19, 397–99.
Cashore, B. (2009). Key Components of Good Forest Governance. Jakarta: ASEAN Forests Clearing House Mechanism, ASEAN Secretariat,
Colchester, M., Boscolo, M., Contreras-Hermosilla, al. (2006). Justice in the Forest: Rural Livelihoods and Forest Law Enforcement. Bogor: Center for International Forestry Research.
Contreras-Hermosilla, A., Gregersen, H. M. and White, A. (2008). Forest Governance in Countries with Federal Systems of Government. Bogor: Centre for International Forestry Research.
Davidson, O., Halsnæs, K., Huq, al. (2003). The development and climate nexus: The case of sub-Saharan Africa. Climate Policy, 3, S97–S113.
Dornburg, V., Faaij, A., Verweij, al. (2008). Biomass Assessment: Assessment of Global Biomass Potentials and their Links to Food, Water, Biodiversity, Energy Demand and Economy. Report No. WAB 500102012. Bilthoven, The Netherlands: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency,
Dowlatabadi, H. (2007). On integration of policies for climate and global change. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 12, 651–63.
Duke, R., Graham, S., Hankins, al. (2000). Field Performance Evaluation of Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Photovoltaic Systems in Kenya: Methods and Measurements in Support of a Sustainable Commercial Solar Energy Industry. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
Duke, R. D., Jacobson, A. and Kammen, D. M. (2002). Product quality in the Kenyan solar home systems market. Energy Policy, 30, 477–99.
Eakin, H. and Lemos, M. C. (2006). Adaptation and the state: Latin America and the challenge of capacity-building under globalization. Global Environmental Change, 16, 7–18.
Eriksen, S. E. H., Klein, R. J. T., Ulsrud, K., Næss, L. O. and O'Brien, K. (2007). Climate Change Adaptation and Poverty Reduction: Key Interactions and Critical Measures. Report prepared for the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). Oslo: University of Oslo.
Fairman, D., Bukobza, D., Kabalo, al. (2003). Amorphous, mono- and poly-crystalline silicon PV modules: A comparative study of their relative efficiencies under various outdoor conditions. Proceedings of 3rd World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, 11–18 May 2003, Osaka, Japan.
,FAO (2008). The State of Food and Agriculture 2008: Biofuels, Prospects, Risks and Opportunities. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Fargione, J., Hill, J., Tilman, D., Polasky, S. and Hawthorne, P. (2008). Land clearing and the biofuel carbon debt. Science, 319, 1235–38.
Few, R., Osbahr, H., Bouwer, L. M., Viner, D. and Sperling, F. (2006). Linking Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management for Sustainable Poverty Reduction: Synthesis Report. Brussels: European Union.
Firbank, L. G. (2008). Assessing the ecological impacts of bioenergy projects. BioEnergy Research, 1, 12–19.
Fischer, G., Hizsnyik, E., Prieler, S., Shah, M. and Velthuizen, H. (2009). Biofuels and Food Security: Implications of an Accelerated Biofuels Production. Vienna: The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
Folke, C., Carpenter, S., Elmqvist, al. (2002). Resilience and sustainable development: Building adaptive capacity in a world of transformations. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 31, 437–40.
Foran, B., Lenzen, M., Dey, C. and Bilek, M. (2005). Integrating sustainable chain management with triple bottom line accounting. Ecological Economics, 52, 143–57.
Forner, C. (2005). Forests, adaptation and mitigation under the UNFCCC. In Tropical Forests and Adaptation to Climate Change: In Search of Synergies, eds. Robledo, C., Kanninen, M. and Pedroni, L.. Bogor: Center for International Forestry Research.
Galloway McLean, K., Ramos-Castillo, A., Gross, al. (2009). Report of the Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change. 20–24 April, Anchorage, Alaska. Darwin, Australia: United Nations University – Traditional Knowledge Initiative.
Geist, H. J. and Lambin, E. F. (2002). Proximate causes and underlying driving forces of tropical deforestation. BioScience, 52, 143–50.
Goklany, I. M. (2007). Integrated strategies to reduce vulnerability and advance adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 12, 755–86.
Griebenow, G. and Kishore, S. (2008). Mainstreaming environment and climate change in the implementation of poverty reduction strategies. Environmental Economics Series, 119. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
Gunningham, N. (2009a). The new collaborative environmental governance: the localization of regulation. Journal of Law and Society, 36,145–66.
Gunningham, N. (2009b). Environment law, regulation and governance: shifting architectures. Journal of Environmental Law, 21, 179–212.
Halsnæs, K. and Verhagen, J. (2007). Development based climate change adaptation and mitigation – conceptual issues and lessons learned in studies in developing countries. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 12, 665–84.
Hankins, M. (2000). A case study on private provision of photovoltaic systems in Kenya. In Energy Services for the World's Poor. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), pp. 92–99.
Hendrickson, C. T., Lave, L. B. and Matthews, H. S. (2005). Environmental Life-cycle Assessment of Goods and Services: An Input-Output Approach. Washington, D.C.: RFF Press.
Høyer, K. G. and Næss, P. (2008). Interdisciplinarity, ecology and scientific theory: The case of sustainable urban development. Journal of Critical Realism, 7, 179.
Humphreys, D. (2006). Logjam: Deforestation and the Crisis of Global Governance. London: Earthscan.
,International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) (2010). AdMit,
,Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007a). Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds. Metz, B., Davidson, O. R., Bosch, P. R., Dave, R. and Meyer, L. A.. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
,Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007b). Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds. Parry, M., Canziani, O. and Palutikof, J.. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
,Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007c). Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds. ,Core Writing Team, Pachauri, R. K. and Reisinger, A.. Geneva, Switzerland: IPCC.
Jacobson, A. and Kammen, D. M. (2007). Engineering, institutions, and the public interest: Evaluating product quality in the Kenyan solar photovoltaics industry. Energy Policy, 35, 2960–2968.
Jacobson, A., Duke, R., Kammen, D. M. and Hankins, M. (2000). Field performance measurements of amorphous silicon photovoltaic modules in Kenya. Conference Proceedings of The American Solar Energy Society (ASES), Madison, WI, 16–21 June.
Jacobson, A., Duke, R. and Kammen, D. M. (2001). Update on the performance of 14 watt Phoenix gold solar panels. Solarnet, 3.
,JRC (2007). Well to Wheels Analysis of Future Automotive Fuels and Powertrains in the European Context. n.p.: European Commission, Joint Research Centre.
Kajikawa, Y., Ohno, J., Takeda, Y., Matsushima, K. and Komiyama, H. (2007). Creating an academic landscape of sustainability science: an analysis of the citation network. Sustainability Science, 2, 221–31.
Kane, S. and Shogren, J. F. (2000). Linking adaptation and mitigation in climate change policy. Climatic Change, 45, 75–102.
Kanninen, M., Murdiyarso, D., Seymour, al. (2007). Do Trees Grow on Money?: The Implications of Deforestation Research for Policies to Promote REDD. Bogor: Center for International Forestry Research.
,Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS) (2003a). Kenya Standard: Crystalline Silicon Terrestrial Photovoltaic (PV) Modules – Design Qualification and Type Approval. KS1674–2003. Nairobi: KBS.
,Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS) (2003b). Kenya Standard: Thin-film Terrestrial Photovoltaic (PV) Modules – Design Qualification and Type Approval. KS1675–2003. Nairobi: KBS.
Kishore, S. (2007). Mainstreaming Environment in the Implementation of PRSPs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Environment Department Paper No. 112. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
Klein, R. J. T., Schipper, E. L. F. and Dessai, S. (2005). Integrating mitigation and adaptation into climate and development policy: Three research questions. Environmental Science & Policy, 8, 579–88.
Kok, M., Metz, B., Verhagen, J. and van Rooijen, S. (2008). Integrating development and climate policies: national and international benefits. Climate Policy, 8, 103–18.
Komiyama, H. and Takeuchi, K. (2006). Sustainability science: Building a new discipline. Sustainability Science, 1, 1–6.
Kühn, I., Sykes, M. T., Berry, P. al. (2008). MACIS: Minimisation of and adaptation to climate change impacts on biodiversity. GAIA – Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society, 17, 393–95.
Leach, M. and Fairhead, J. (2000). Challenging neo-Malthusian deforestation analyses in West Africa's dynamic forest landscapes. Population and Development Review, 26, 17–43.
Leary, N., Conde, C., Kulkarni, J., Nyong, A. and Pulhin, J. (2007). Climate Change and Vulnerability. London: Earthscan.
Leary, N., Adejuwon, J., Barros, al. (2008). Climate Change and Adaptation. London: Earthscan.
Lindner, M. and Kolström, M. (2009). A review of measures to adapt to climate change in forests of EU countries. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 6, 382007.
Lund, J. F., Balooni, K. and Casse, T. (2009). Change we can believe in? Reviewing studies on the conservation impact of popular participation in forest management. Conservation & Society, 7, 71–82.
Lykke, A. M., Barfod, A. S., Tinggaard Svendsen, G., Greve, M. and Svenning, J.-C. (2009). Climate change mitigation by carbon stock: The case of semi-arid West Africa. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 8, 012004.
McCarl, B. A. and Schneider, U. A. (2001). Greenhouse gas mitigation in U.S. agriculture and forestry. Science, 294, 2481–82.
McDermott, C. L., Cashore, B. and Kanowski, P. (2009). Setting the bar: An international comparison of public and private forest policy specifications and implications for explaining policy trends. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, 6, 217–37.
McDermott, C., Cashore, B. and Kanowski, P. (2010). Global Environmental Forest Policies: An International Comparison. London: Earthscan.
Assessment, Millennium Ecosystem (2005). Ecosystems and Human Well-being. General Synthesis. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
Müller, B. (2008). International Adaptation Finance: The Need for an Innovative and Strategic Approach. Oxford: Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
Munasinghe, M. (1992). Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
Munasinghe, M. (2001). Sustainable development and climate change: applying the sustainomics transdisciplinary meta-framework. International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 1 (1), 13–55.
Munasinghe, M. (2003). Analysing the Nexus of Sustainable Development and Climate Change: an Overview, Environment Directorate, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, France
Munasinghe, M. (2009). Sustainable Development in Practice: Sustainomics Framework and Applications. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press,
Munasinghe, M. (2010). Making Development More Sustainable: Sustainomics Framework and Applications, 2nd edn. Colombo: MIND Press, Munasinghe Institute for Development.
Munasinghe, M. and Swart, R. (2005). Primer on Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Facts, Policy Analysis and Applications. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Munasinghe, M., Dasgupta, P., Southerton, D., Bows, A. and McMeekin, A. (2009). Consumers, Business and Climate Change. Manchester: Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester,
Nelson, D. R., Adger, W. N. and Brown, K. (2007). Adaptation to environmental change: Contributions of a resilience framework. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 32, 395–419.
Niles, J. O., Brown, S., Pretty, J., Ball, A. S. and Fay, J. (2002). Potential carbon mitigation and income in developing countries from changes in use and management of agricultural and forest lands. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A – Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences, 360, 1621–39.
Nyong, A., Adesina, F. and Osman Elasha, B. (2007). The value of indigenous knowledge in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the African Sahel. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 12, 787–97.
O'Connor, D. (2008). Governing the global commons: linking carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation in tropical forests. Global Environmental Change, 18, 368–74.
Palmer, C. and Engel, S. (eds.) (2009). Avoided Deforestation. Prospects for Mitigating Climate Change. London: Routledge.
Parry, M., Arnell, N., Berry, al. (2009). Assessing the Costs of Adaptation to Climate Change: A Review of the UNFCCC and Other Recent Estimates. London: IIED and Grantham Institute for Climate Change.
Paterson, J. S., Araújo, M. B., Berry, P. M., Piper, J. M. and Rounsevell, M. D. A. (2008). Mitigation, adaptation and the threat to biodiversity. Conservation Biology, 22, 1352–55.
Pelling, M. and High, C. (2005). Understanding adaptation: What can social capital offer assessments of adaptive capacity?Global Environmental Change A, 15, 308–19.
,Prince's Rainforest Project (2009). An Emergency Package for Tropical Rainforests,
Rarieya, M. and Fortun, K. (2010). Food security and seasonal climate information: Kenyan challenges. Sustainability Science, 5, 99–114.
Reid, P. and Vogel, C. (2006). Living and responding to multiple stressors in South Africa: Glimpses from KwaZulu-Natal. Global Environmental Change, 16, 195–206.
Robinson, J., Bradley, M., Busby, al. (2006). Climate change and sustainable development: Realizing the opportunity. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 35, 2–8.
Roe, D., Nelson, F. and Sandbrook, C. (eds.) (2009). Community Management of Natural Resources in Africa: Impacts, Experiences and Future Directions. London: IIED.
Scharlemann, J. P. W. and Laurance, W. F. (2008). How green are biofuels?Science, 319, 43–44.
Searchinger, T., Heimlich, R., Houghton, R. al. (2008). Use of U.S. croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change. Science, 319, 1238–40.
,Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) (2009). Connecting Biodiversity and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Report of the Second Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change. Technical Series No. 41. Montreal: SCBD.
Skourtos, M., Kontogianni, A. and Harrison, P. A. (2010). Reviewing the dynamics of economic values and preferences for ecosystem goods and services. Biodiversity and Conservation, 19 (10), 2855–72.
Smit, B. and Wandel, J. (2006). Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability. Global Environmental Change, 16, 282–92.
Smith, P., Martino, D., Cai, al. (2007). Policy and technological constraints to implementation of greenhouse gas mitigation options in agriculture. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 118, 6–28.
Smith, P., Martino, D., Cai, al. (2008). Greenhouse gas mitigation in agriculture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363, 789–813.
Staebler, D. L. and Wronski, C. R. (1977). Reversible conductivity changes in discharge-produced amorphous Si. Applied Physics Letters, 31, 292–94.
Stern, N. (2006). The challenge of stabilisation. In Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, eds. Stern, N., Peters, S., Bakhshi, V., Bowen, A., Cameron, C., Catovsky, S., Crane, D., Cruickshank, S., Dietz, S., Edmonson, N., Garbett, S.-L., Hamid, L., Hoffman, G., Ingram, D., Jones, B., Patmore, N., Radcliffe, H., Sathiyarajah, R., Stock, M., Taylor, C., Vernon, T., Wanjie, H. and Zenghelis, D.London: HM Treasury, pp. 193–210.
Stern, N. H. (2007). The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Sunderlin, W. D., Hatcher, J. and Liddle, M. (2008). From Exclusion to Ownership? Challenges and Opportunities in Advancing Forest Tenure Reform. Washington, D.C.: Rights and Resources Initiative.
Tacconi, L. (2007). Illegal logging and the future of the forest. In Illegal Logging: Law Enforcement, Livelihoods and the Timber Trade, ed. Tacconi, L.. London: Earthscan.
Tavoni, M., Sohngen, B. and Bosetti, V. (2007). Forestry and the carbon market response to stabilize climate. Energy Policy, 35, 5346–53.
Tol, R. S. J. (2005). Adaptation and mitigation: trade-offs in substance and methods. Environmental Science & Policy, 8, 572–78.
Tol, R. S. J. (2007). The double trade-off between adaptation and mitigation for sea level rise: an application of FUND. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 12, 741–53.
Tschakert, P. (2007). Views from the vulnerable: understanding climatic and other stressors in the Sahel. Global Environmental Change, 17, 381–96.
,UNFCCC (2009a). Methodological Guidance for Activities Relating to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and the Role of Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forests and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks in Developing Countries,
,UNFCCC (2009b). Copenhagen Accord,
Werf, G. R., Morton, D. C., DeFries, R. al. (2009). CO2 emissions from forest loss. Nature Geoscience, 2, 737–38.
Vliet, J., Elzen, M. G. J. and Vuuren, D. P. (2009). Meeting radiative forcing targets under delayed participation. Energy Economics, 31, S152–S162.
Vogel, C. (2006). Foreword: Resilience, vulnerability and adaptation: A cross-cutting theme of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change. Global Environmental Change, 16, 235–36.
Watkins, K. (2007). Human Development Report 2007/2008. Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World. Palgrave Macmillan.
Wilbanks, T. J. and Sathaye, J. (2007). Integrating mitigation and adaptation as responses to climate change: A synthesis. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 12, 957–62.
Winkler, H., Spalding-Fecher, R., Mwakasonda, S. and Davidson, O. (2002). Sustainable development policies and measures: starting from development to tackle climate change. In Building on the Kyoto Protocol: Options for Protecting the Climate, eds. Baumert, K., Blanchard, O., Llosa, S. and Perkaus, J. F.. Washington, D.C.: World Resources Institute, pp. 61–87.
,World Bank (2008). Forests Sourcebook. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
,World Bank (2009). Convenient Solutions to an Inconvenient Truth: Ecosystem-based Approaches to Climate Change. Washington, D. C.: World Bank.
,World Bank (2010). World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
Wunder, S. (2007). The efficiency of payments for environmental services in tropical conservation. Conservation Biology, 21, 48–58.
Yohe, G. W. (2001). Mitigative capacity – the mirror image of adaptive capacity on the emissions side. Climatic Change, 49, 247–62.