Rethinking Boundaries and Inequalities Related to Climate-Resilient Development: Challenges for Resource Use and Climate Governance (Working Group “Environment, climate change and sustainable development”)

After the long haggling about the revised SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement, climate-resilient and sustainable development may now be pursued in a highly ambitious way. A major challenge is to scale up and structurally integrate the many innovative approaches to make tangible progress worldwide in the sustainable use of all types of resources, especially non-renewable fossils, to seriously address the sources of climate change and achieve the necessary socio-ecological transformation.

We invite scholars and practitioners to present papers, especially on the following main topics:

1- Are the governance structures functioning in a way that they promote the necessary endeavours at different policy levels in a coherent, effective and cost-efficient way? If not, what structural reforms are necessary in order to provide coherent incentives for generalising demonstrated best practice in efficient and sustainable use of resources? Is it a lack of finance, as often stated, or are there other reasons for the difficulties in up-scaling best practice and modifying policies? Will money really make unsustainable production and consumption patterns change when abundantly available? Or what else is needed to modify policies and increase impact?

2- Is the private sector playing the role it should for fostering climate-resilient and inclusive development and the sustainable use of resources? How is the relationship between sustainable production and consumption in this respect, what are the main drivers, which need to be addressed differently? Will pilot activities and corporate social responsibility projects modify the prevailing resource-intensive and labour-saving production patterns in agriculture, industry, and services, as drastically as required? Which incentives, price signals, and policies are necessary and possible to create a conducive environment for stimulating sustainable products, production processes and supply chains? Can technologies developed in unsustainable development contexts, e.g. in industrialised countries, really be the solution for general modification of resource efficiency in emerging and developing economies? Or, on the contrary, is Einstein right stating that problems cannot be solved by the mind-set that created them in the first place.

3- With respect to the large number of promising local initiatives and urban actors as a motor of transformational change: Why are so many urban and municipal innovative and best practice examples, pilot projects or policies not scaled-up? Which innovative solutions have been generalised or diffused to other contexts? What means and “recipes” for successful policy integration do the manifold networks and initiatives provide for a general stimulation of climate-resilient and inclusive development patterns?

We invite paper presenters to a lively, interactive session and will use the inputs for relaunching the working group and aiming at a publication.


Dr. Astrid Carrapatoso, University of Freiburg

Dr. Edith Kürzinger, PREMAnet e.V.