Low Carbon Development & Poverty: Exploring Poverty Alleviating and Mitigation Action in Developing Countries

"Climate change and poverty generally fall into the adaptation category in current research literature and policymaking. If we acknowledge current findings of poverty research, we find that this separation between mitigation and adaptation does not hold anymore. Recent research suggests that poverty demographics have changed between 1990 and 2010. The majority of the poor nowadays live in middle-income countries -­ certainly not only in low-income countries. As emissions in middle-income countries increase, their governments need to reduce emissions in the long term without jeopardising socio-economic development. The paper examines the current literature on the linkages between low-­carbon development, mitigation and poverty in middle-­income countries. Most such countries pursue carbon-­intensive development paths and will need to mitigate emissions towards low-carbon development paths. An explorative analysis of mitigation actions in five middle-­income countries shows that mitigation has moved on the political agendas over the past five years. Yet, these efforts are not necessarily linked with poverty alleviation instruments. Most mitigation action can have positive and negative poverty effects: their impacts depend on an adequate pro-poor policy mix as the way they are designed and implemented."