Transformational agendas: Finding compromise on the path to climate sensitive development

En Letra, Vol 2, No 3, 2015, pp. 151-170.

Tracking the parallel negotiations of a new climate change agreement and the post-2015 development agenda, highlights the pervading dominance of a neo-liberal approach of economic growth for poverty alleviation. However, climate scientists are certain that greenhouse gas emissions should peak by 2020 and reach zero net emissions by 2100 if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. This paper considers how the international climate change regime is working to find a means to negotiate a compromise between the push for economic growth and the need for a transition to low-carbon development. It considers the limitations of existing institutions, and argues that an integrated approach of collective action can enable the innovation and the creative solutions required to address such an unprecedented and complex challenge. This means multi-sectoral engagement with nonstate actors across a range of scales to encourage new knowledge and actions to be introduced into an otherwise gridlocked system.