Climate adaptation: Building resilience through structural transformation

UNCTAD Research Paper No. 80

Combining longitudinal conventional macroeconomic data with various climate-related variables, the author examines macro-dynamics of income, employment and distribution within the climate change framework by using the Global Policy Model of the United Nations. By focusing on a group of thirty countries, this paper uses a transition analysis method between 1978 and 2018 to understand the trajectory of different countries based on their geographical location, level of economic development, demographic and climate characteristics.

Results suggest that adaptation strategies should avoid re-enforcing pre-existing unequal social and economic hierarchies, especially in the context of race and gender. Unless marginalized populations are made partners and locally relevant in the adaptation strategies, there is a risk of adverse outcomes.

A positive intervention by the governments as proposed in the SDGs would help in addressing the racial and gender inequalities that have been historical institutionalized. Ensuring domestic social safety nets, guaranteeing employment and building green infrastructure would help them transform structurally to sustainable paths.

Unfortunately, development expenditures are the first items that get reduced in fiscal restructuring. New investments must be planned in a manner that ensures a non-declining intertemporal trajectory of comprehensive wealth. International cooperation is critical not only for economic development but also for ecosystem and biodiversity conservation.

Climate adaptation: Building resilience through structural transformation - UNCTAD Research Paper No. 80   (UNCTAD/SER.RP/2021/23)
7 Jan 2022