IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change Non-climate policies

There are a number of non-climate national policies that can have an important influence on GHG emissions. These include policies focused on poverty, land use and land use change, energy supply and security; international trade, air pollution, structural reforms and population policies. Only a few types of ‘non-climate policies’ are touched upon in this section.

The literature available on this topic indicates that poverty reduces the resilience of vulnerable populations and makes them more at risk to the potential impacts of climate change, but it also leads communities to take measures that may increase emissions. Heemst and Bayangos (2004) note that if poverty can be reduced without raising emissions, then a strategy to reduce poverty can be seen as a way to reduce emissions as well as enhance resilience. Typical areas of synergy include small-scale renewables (Richards, 2003) and community forestry (Smith and Scherr, 2002), both of which may benefit the poor.

Land use policies (or the lack thereof), whether terrestrial (agriculture, forestry, nature), aquatic (wetlands) or urban, can lead to enhanced emissions. Verhagen et al. (2004) note that policies aimed at integrating climate change concerns with the specific concerns of local people may yield major synergies. For example, within the Netherlands, a major programme is currently underway to understand how spatial planning and climate change policy can be effectively linked. Regional (acid rain abatement), local and indoor air pollution policies can also have climate change co-benefits (Bakker et al., 2004).

The consumption of natural resources varies significantly between developed and developing countries and is ultimately one of the major drivers of global emissions. The global population and income levels affect the consumption of natural resources, particularly those of energy, food and fibre, and hence can also affect GHG emissions. Policies that increase consumption of natural resources have implications for GHG emissions.