Working Paper

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.”