Development and Climate Adaptation

Robert Mendelsohn

in Climate Change and Common Sense

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199692873
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738371 | DOI:
Development and Climate Adaptation

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The prevailing wisdom in the climate community is that developing countries lack the adaptive capacity to protect themselves from climate change and so international development agencies should redirect their efforts away from traditional development and towards climate‐proofing low latitude countries. This chapter follows the lead of Tom Schelling and argues a more balanced approach. International aid should continue to be devoted to development precisely to allow low latitude countries to develop and reduce their dependence on biological sectors such as agriculture and forestry. Not only will this alleviate poverty in these countries, but it will also reduce their vulnerability to climate change by moving these economies towards climate resilient sectors and giving them the income to adapt. Finally, development offers low latitude countries compensation for enduring climate change that they did not cause. Developing countries can take care of efficient adaptation on their own. With traditional economic development (versus handouts), developing countries will develop self‐reliance and the resources to pursue adaptation in their own interest.

Keywords: economic development; climate adaptation

Chapter.  5509 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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