IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report

4.4 Relationship between adaptation and mitigation options and relationship with sustainable development

There is growing understanding of the possibilities to choose and implement climate response options in several sectors to realise synergies and avoid conflicts with other dimensions of sustainable development. {WGIII SPM}

Climate change policies related to energy efficiency and renewable energy are often economically beneficial, improve energy security and reduce local pollutant emissions. Reducing both loss of natural habitat and deforestation can have significant biodiversity, soil and water conservation benefits, and can be implemented in a socially and economically sustainable manner. Forestation and bioenergy plantations can restore degraded land, manage water runoff, retain soil carbon and benefit rural economies, but could compete with food production and may be negative for biodiversity, if not properly designed. {WGII 20.3, 20.8; WGIII 4.5, 9.7, 12.3, SPM}

There is growing evidence that decisions about macro-economic policy, agricultural policy, multilateral development bank lending, insurance practices, electricity market reform, energy security and forest conservation, for example, which are often treated as being apart from climate policy, can significantly reduce emissions (Table 4.3). Similarly, non-climate policies can affect adaptive capacity and vulnerability. {WGII 20.3; WGIII SPM, 12.3}

Both synergies and trade-offs exist between adaptation and mitigation options. {WGII 18.4.3; WGIII 11.9}

Examples of synergies include properly designed biomass production, formation of protected areas, land management, energy use in buildings, and forestry, but synergies are rather limited in other sectors. Potential trade-offs include increased GHG emissions due to increased consumption of energy related to adaptive responses. {WGII 18.4.3, 18.5, 18.7, TS.5.2; WGIII 4.5, 6.9, 8.5, 9.5, SPM}

Table 4.3. Integrating climate change considerations into development policies – selected examples in the area of mitigation. {WGIII}

Selected sectors  Non-climate change policy instruments and actions  Potentially affects: 
Macro-economy  Implement non-climate taxes/subsidies and/or other fiscal and regulatory policies that promote sustainable development  Total global GHG emissions  
Forestry  Adoption of forest conservation and sustainable management practices  GHG emissions from deforestation  
Electricity  Adoption of cost-effective renewables, demand-side management programmes, and transmission and distribution loss reduction Electricity sector CO2 emissions  
Petroleum imports  Diversifying imported and domestic fuel mix and reducing economy’s energy intensity to improve energy security  Emissions from crude oil and product imports 
Insurance for building, transport sectors  Differentiated premiums, liability insurance exclusions, improved terms for green products  Transport and building sector GHG emissions  
International finance  Country and sector strategies and project lending that reduces emissions  Emissions from developing countries