Economic development has been a major emphasis in the global community; the growth of Gross National Product (GNP) and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are used to indicate the progress of the economic development. The pace of human development has increased substantially even before the industrial revolution (IPCC 2007). The advances in technology have allowed the utilisation of high-density carbon-based energy sources, such as fossil fuel to power machineries and coal burning for electricity generation. (Nicholas 2006) Harnessing these energy sources has allowed the human race to improve quality and efficiency in many important human activities such as food production, transport/logistics, manufacturing, buildings, technology development and many other activities that generated economical values (Canadell et al. 2007). However, many activities that generate economic values are unsustainable, and the consequences of unsustainable economic development leads to the collapse of ecosystems services that are vital to humanity (Munda 1997).
The interdependencies between the economic component and environmental component generate tradeoffs. In the context of sustainable development, the challenge is, how to avoid impeding the economic development while mitigating emission growth on a global scale. (Munasinghe 2011)
This essay aims to explore the topic of tradeoffs in economic development and emission growth under the concept of sustainable development. The essay will identify the factors that contribute to economic development and emission growth, and how climate change plays a role sustainable development, identify the stakeholders and explore the solutions of climate change that are potentially sustainable, considering the inherent tradeoffs of the solutions. Lastly, identify the essential approaches to allow progress to be made to mitigate or adapt to climate change.
Sustainable development, Emission Growth and Economic Development:
The global greenhouse gas emission rate is growing rapidly with the increasing energy demand worldwide as countries continue to develop and consume large amount of fossil fuel and coal to meet the demand (Hamilton & Turton 2002). It
is evident that the global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission is a major contributing factor to climate change, which essentially transforms the characteristic of the environment and result in damaging the intra- and inter- generational equity. (Nicholas 2006)
According to the Kyoto protocol, six classes of greenhouse gas (GHG) are identified to be major contributor to the greenhouse effect, these gases includes, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons (UNFCCC 1998). In the context of climate change, global warming is when the atmosphere's heat capturing capacity increases with the increased concentration of GHGs, leading to a higher global average temperature as the heat energy are contained within the Earth's atmosphere....