Keywords: sustainable development, climate change, integrated assessment, scenarios
Integrating climate change and sustainable development
The links between climate issues and sustainable development are manifold. Given these interconnections, the lack of close integration of the sustainable development and climate change literatures is puzzling; part of the reason for this lack of connectivity may be the very different research and policy traditions out of which each field developed. This paper argues that integrating climate change and sustainable development approaches, concepts and methods may have some important benefits. To demonstrate this point, we briefly discuss recent developments in both the climate change and sustainable development fields and then turn to the question of how to integrate them. The analysis suggests several conclusions of possible relevance to climate change and sustainable development research, including the need for an approach to scenario analysis that integrates across all aspects of climate change and sustainable development research, and the critical importance of alternative development paths and the assumptions about the reference case or baseline that underlie any analysis.