Special Issue "Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Frauke Urban

Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Economics and Management INDEK, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 10044 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: energy transitions; renewable energy; energy policy; climate policy; decarbonization; innovation; industrial dynamics; green transformations
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Johan Nordensvard
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: the social implications of energy and climate policy; low carbon development; renewable energy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to invite you to submit a paper for a Special Issue on “Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy” in Sustainability (impact factor 1.789): https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability

Climate change is one of the world’s greatest challenges (IPCC, 2014). It affects humans, the economy and the environment; in addition climate change has an impact on development processes and policies at all levels. The aim of this Special Issue is therefore to explore the linkages between climate change and sustainable development policy. Beg et al. (2002) outlined the linkages between climate change and sustainable development more than a decade ago, however the scientific evidence and the knowledge we have about climate change has moved on, as have the policy frameworks that address both climate change and sustainable development at international, regional, national and local levels. This is particularly relevant in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the SDG13 on climate change. At the same time, the international Paris Agreement on climate change opens up new opportunities as well as challenges for adapting to and mitigating climate change while striving for sustainable development. This Special Issue therefore focuses on climate change adaptation, mitigation, climate finance, climate-relevant technology and their linkages with development policy. Contributions are invited that address the political, social, economic, technological and environmental implications of climate change and sustainable development policy. The Special Issue also welcomes studies exploring new scientific insights on climate change that address the wider impacts for sustainable development policy. The Special Issue is open to relevant submissions from all disciplines and addresses all world regions.


Dr. Frauke Urban
Dr. Johan Nordensvard
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

References:

  1. IPCC, 2014. Climate change 2013/14. Fifth Assessment Reports. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/
  2. Beg, N., Morlot, J.C., Davidson, O., Afrane-Okesse, Tyani, L., Denton, F., Sokona, Y., Thomas, J.P., La Rovere, Parikh, J.K., Parikh, K., Rahman, A.A., 2002. Linkages between climate change and sustainable development. Climate Policy, Vol.2(2-3): 129-144

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Development
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Paris Agreement
  • UNFCCC
  • Adaptation
  • Mitigation
  • Finance
  • Technology
  • Economics
  • Social Science
  • Politics
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Development Studies
  • Natural science
  • Climate science
  • Energy-poverty-climate nexus

Published Papers (23 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Farmers’ Intention to Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture in the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve (Vietnam): A Combination of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and Protection Motivation Theory (PMT)
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102993 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Coastal communities living in the low delta areas of Vietnam are increasingly vulnerable to tropical storms and related natural hazards of global climate change. Particularly in the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve (RRDBR), farmers change the crop structure and diversify agricultural systems to [...] Read more.
Coastal communities living in the low delta areas of Vietnam are increasingly vulnerable to tropical storms and related natural hazards of global climate change. Particularly in the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve (RRDBR), farmers change the crop structure and diversify agricultural systems to adapt to the changing climate. The paper deals with a quantitative approach combined with behavior theories and surveyed data to analyze farmers’ intention to climate change adaptation in agriculture. Based on the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), seven constructs are developed to a questionnaire surveying 526 local farmers: risk perception, belief, habit, maladaptation, subjective norm, adaptation assessment, and adaptation intention. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is implemented to extract eight factors and to quantify the relationship between protective behavior factors with the adaptation intention of the surveyed farmers. Two bootstrap samples of sizes 800 and 1200 are generated to estimate the coefficients and standard errors. The SEM result suggests a regional and three local structural models for climate change adaptation intention of farmers living in the RRDBR. Farmers show a higher adaptation intention when they perceive higher climate risks threatening their physical health, finances, production, social relationships, and psychology. In contrast, farmers are less likely to intend to adapt when they are subject to wishful thinking, deny the climate risks, or believe in fatalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
An Index-Based Assessment of Perceived Climate Risk and Vulnerability for the Urban Cluster in the Yangtze River Delta Region of China
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2099; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072099 - 09 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
This paper proposes an index-based assessment tool to consolidate diverse opinions of various stakeholders on their assessments of sector-specific risks posed by climate change, and to aggregate these opinions into intuitive and comparable graphs. This tool enables cities to measure and monitor the [...] Read more.
This paper proposes an index-based assessment tool to consolidate diverse opinions of various stakeholders on their assessments of sector-specific risks posed by climate change, and to aggregate these opinions into intuitive and comparable graphs. This tool enables cities to measure and monitor the multiple factors that contribute to their resilience towards climate risk and hazard in the long term. We applied this tool to five key infrastructure sectors in six representative cities in the Yangtze River Delta region. The graphs generated provide for the first time first-hand insights into the aggregative understanding of various stakeholders with regard to the current and future climate risk in their concerned sectors and cities. Our results indicate that a high level of exposure is not automatically associated with a high level of vulnerability across our selected cities. While all cities need to make efforts to reduce their vulnerability towards climate hazards, those characterized by “lower level of exposure but higher level of vulnerability” need to make more urgent and much greater efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants and Policy Implications of Farmers’ Climate Adaptation Choices in Rural Cameroon
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1921; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071921 - 31 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The issue of climate change and its related impacts is now a social reality. The paradigm shift today in climate change issues is focused on mitigation and adaptation. Besides mitigation, adaptation is considered as an essential strategy for reducing the severity and cost [...] Read more.
The issue of climate change and its related impacts is now a social reality. The paradigm shift today in climate change issues is focused on mitigation and adaptation. Besides mitigation, adaptation is considered as an essential strategy for reducing the severity and cost of climate change impacts given the fact that additional future climate change is considered as being inevitable. In this paper, we analyze household socio-economic determinants of climate change adaptation and their policy implications. A survey of 130 farmers in four farm communities in Cameroon was conducted to capture the determinants of farmers’ adaptation to climate change. We employed the binary Logistic regression model to assess the determinants of climate adaptation. Results reveal that in the midst of climate change, 78.33% of farmers have adopted rainfall-related adaptation while 63.33% have resorted to temperature-related adaptation. Based on the binary logistic regression, access to road, access to non-farm income source, and membership of farmers’ groups were significant determinants for the adoption of temperature-related adaptation options. Furthermore, access to improved seeds was found to be the lone significant determinant for the adoption of rainfall-related adaptation options. All in all, much is required to strengthen farmers’ adaptive capacity and increase the range of adaptation options undertaken. As such, policies geared towards building farmers’ resilience should effectively capture the following tri-factors: provision of access roads linking farm communities to nearby urban centres, upscaling institutional interventions with regards to providing high quality and resistant seeds to farmers, and incentivizing farmers to create or join social groups in order to facilitate adaptation uptake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
How to Balance the Trade-off between Economic Development and Climate Change?
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1638; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061638 - 18 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Climate change is not only an environmental issue but also a development problem. Maintaining rapid economic development while simultaneously mitigating climate change is a pivotal and challenging task. Previous studies mainly focused on testing the validity of the environmental Kuznets hypothesis but ignored [...] Read more.
Climate change is not only an environmental issue but also a development problem. Maintaining rapid economic development while simultaneously mitigating climate change is a pivotal and challenging task. Previous studies mainly focused on testing the validity of the environmental Kuznets hypothesis but ignored the internal influencing mechanism. This paper extends the past work in three aspects. First, we theoretically discuss the interaction of the scale, structure and technology effects of economic development and their impact on carbon emissions based on a classic model and the general equilibrium theory. Second, the relationship between carbon emissions and these three effects are examined by considering the quadratic term, and the interactive mechanism among them is evaluated by applying multiple mediating analysis. Due to the important role of the technology effect, we further divide it into different sources to reveal its impact on carbon emissions and discuss the rebound effect. Finally, the policy effect is considered, and the results demonstrate that the implementation of effective environmental regulations can mitigate the adverse impact of economic development on carbon emissions. Our research is an initial attempt to thoroughly explore the pathways to balance the trade-off between development and environment from the perspective of internal influencing mechanisms. The empirical results can serve as an important reference for making policies about energy conservation and emission reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Changes in Carbon Sequestration from Opencast Mining Activities and Land Reclamation in China’s Loess Plateau
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1473; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051473 - 10 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Opencast coal mining causes serious damage to the natural landscape, resulting in the depletion of the carbon sequestration capacity in the mining activity. There are few studies on the variation of carbon sequestration capabilities caused by land use changes in opencast mining areas. [...] Read more.
Opencast coal mining causes serious damage to the natural landscape, resulting in the depletion of the carbon sequestration capacity in the mining activity. There are few studies on the variation of carbon sequestration capabilities caused by land use changes in opencast mining areas. This paper uses six images were used to quantify the changes in land use types from 1986 to 2015 in the Pingshuo mining area in northwest China. At the same time, used statistical analysis and mathematical models to study soil and vegetation carbon sequestration. Results indicate that the total carbon sequestration exhibits a significant downward trend from 4.58 × 106 Mg in 1986 to 3.78 × 106 Mg in 2015, with the decrease of soil carbon sequestration accounting for the largest proportion. The carbon sequestration of arable land accounted for 51% of the total carbon sequestration in the mining area, followed by grassland (31%) and forestland (18%). Land reclamation contributed to the greatest increase in carbon sequestration of arable land from 17,890.15 Mg (1986) to 27,837.95 Mg (2015). Additionally, the downward trend in the carbon sequestration capacity of the mining ecosystem was mitigated after 2010 as the positive effects of land reclamation gradually amplified over time and as the mining techniques were greatly optimized in recent years in the Pingshuo mining area. Thus, terrestrial carbon sequestration can be improved through land reclamation projects and optimized mining activities. These results can help guide the utilization of reclaimed land in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Driving Forces and Reduction Potential of Industrial Energy-Related CO2 Emissions during 2001–2030: A Case Study for Henan Province, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041176 - 22 Feb 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
In China, the industrial sector is the main contributor to economic development and CO2 emissions, especially for the developing regional provinces. This study employs the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) approach to decompose industrial energy-related CO2 emission into eight factors during [...] Read more.
In China, the industrial sector is the main contributor to economic development and CO2 emissions, especially for the developing regional provinces. This study employs the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) approach to decompose industrial energy-related CO2 emission into eight factors during 2001–2015 for Henan Province. Furthermore, the future CO2 emissions under different scenarios (Business as Usual (BAU), Efficiency Improvement (EI), Structural Optimization (SO), R&D Input (RD), and Comprehensive Policy (CP) scenarios) over 2016–2030 are projected. The results indicate that among these factors, the economic output, R&D intensity, investment intensity, and energy structure are the drivers for increasing CO2 emissions over the entire period, with the contribution of 293, 83, 80, and 1% of the total CO2 emissions changes, respectively. Conversely, the energy intensity, R&D efficiency, and industrial internal structure can decrease CO2 emissions with contributions of –86, –163, and –108% to the changes, respectively. Under the five scenarios, CO2 emissions in 2030 will reach 1222, 1079, 793, 987, and 638 Mt with an annual growth rate of 4.7%, 3.8%, 1.8%, 3.3%, and 0.4%, respectively. In particular, the CO2 emission peak for SO and CP scenarios is observed before 2030. Finally, some policy implications are suggested to further mitigate industrial emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Systemic Risks of Climate Events and Households’ Participation in Mariculture Mutual Insurance: A Case Study of Shrimp Producers in Zhejiang Province
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041164 - 22 Feb 2019
Abstract
Mariculture is playing an important role in food safety, acting as strong complement to marine fishery. As a typical capital intensive and high-risk sector, mariculture mutual insurance is important for ensuring the stability and sustainability of mariculture due to the inertia of private [...] Read more.
Mariculture is playing an important role in food safety, acting as strong complement to marine fishery. As a typical capital intensive and high-risk sector, mariculture mutual insurance is important for ensuring the stability and sustainability of mariculture due to the inertia of private insurance, it is necessary to examine factors for low household participation in marine fishery mutual insurance to promote the healthy development of marine insurance. Based on the field surveyed data of mariculture shrimp producers in Zhejiang Province, this study aims to examine the determinants underlying households’ participation in mariculture mutual insurance. Based on logistic model, we find out that climate risks, environmental risks and technical risks have seriously hindered the development of food security and fisheries in Zhejiang Province. In addition, farmers’ insurance involvement mainly depends on the individual characteristics of the farmers: whether used to go out to work, perception of burden level of premium and insurance awareness; family characteristics of fish farmers: total household income, and unpaid loan; and production characteristics: professional level, mariculture area and whether sea waters registration. Meanwhile, external factors, including organizations available for insurance participation, impact of national insurance subsidies, policy support and disasters on the aquaculture area. Corresponding risk management measures are urgently needed for the sustainable development of mariculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Change and Healthcare Sustainability in the Agincourt Sub-District, Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region, South Africa
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020496 - 18 Jan 2019
Abstract
As low-income communities are most vulnerable to climate-associated health concerns, access to healthcare will increase in importance as a key priority in South Africa. This study explores healthcare sustainability in the Agincourt sub-district, Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region in Mpumalanga, South Africa. A [...] Read more.
As low-income communities are most vulnerable to climate-associated health concerns, access to healthcare will increase in importance as a key priority in South Africa. This study explores healthcare sustainability in the Agincourt sub-district, Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region in Mpumalanga, South Africa. A rapid assessment and response methodology (RAR) was implemented, which includes the examination of previous studies conducted in the sub-district, the mapping of healthcare facilities in the area, and the implementation of a facility infrastructure and workforce capacity investigation by means of key informant (KI) interviews at eight healthcare facilities. Findings indicate that the greatest need across the facilities relate to access to medical doctors and pharmacists. None of the facilities factored climate associations with health into their clinical care strategies. The necessity to train healthcare facility staff on aspects related to climate change, health, and sustainability is highlighted. Environmental health practitioners should also be incorporated in grassroots community climate adaptation strategies. Outcomes further indicate the need for the advancement of integrated healthcare and climate adaptation strategies that focus on strengthening healthcare systems, which may include novel technological approaches such as telemedicine. Policy makers need to be proactive and pre-emptive in finding and improving processes and models to render healthcare services prepared for climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Analysis of CO2 Emissions in China’s Manufacturing Industry Based on Extended Logarithmic Mean Division Index Decomposition
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010226 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
China is the world’s largest emitter of CO2. As the largest sector of China’s fossil energy consumption and carbon emissions, manufacturing plays an important role in achieving emission reduction targets in China. Using the extended logarithmic mean division index (LMDI) decomposition [...] Read more.
China is the world’s largest emitter of CO2. As the largest sector of China’s fossil energy consumption and carbon emissions, manufacturing plays an important role in achieving emission reduction targets in China. Using the extended logarithmic mean division index (LMDI) decomposition model, this paper decomposed the factors that affect the CO2 emissions of China’s manufacturing industry into eight effects. The results show the following: (1) China’s manufacturing CO2 emissions increased from 1.91 billion tons in 1995 to 6.25 billion tons in 2015, with an average annual growth rate of 6%. Ferrous metal smelting and rolling were the largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions, followed by chemical raw materials and products and then non-metallic minerals. (2) During the research period, the industrial activity effects were the most important factor leading to increased CO2 emissions in manufacturing and energy intensity was the most important factor in promoting the reduction of CO2 emissions from manufacturing. The investment intensity was the second most influential factor leading to the increase in China’s manufacturing CO2 emissions after the industrial scale and this even exceeded the industrial activity effect in some time periods (2000–2005). R&D efficiency and R&D intensity were shown to have significant roles in reducing CO2 emissions in China’s manufacturing industry. The input of R&D innovation factors is an effective way to achieve emission reductions in China’s manufacturing industry. (3) There were differences in the driving factors of CO2 emissions in the manufacturing industry in different periods that were closely related to the international and domestic economic development environment and the relevant policies of the Chinese government regarding energy conservation and emission reduction. (4) Sub-sector research found that the factors that affect the reduction of CO2 emissions in various industries appear to be differentiated. This paper has important policy significance to allow the Chinese government to implement effective energy-saving and emission reduction measures and to reduce CO2 emissions from the manufacturing industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Regional Temporal and Spatial Trends in Drought and Flood Disasters in China and Assessment of Economic Losses in Recent Years
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010055 - 21 Dec 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Understanding the temporal and spatial distribution in disasters plays an important role in disaster risk management. The present study aims to explore the long-term trends in drought and floods over China and estimate the economic losses they cause. A peak-over-threshold approach is used [...] Read more.
Understanding the temporal and spatial distribution in disasters plays an important role in disaster risk management. The present study aims to explore the long-term trends in drought and floods over China and estimate the economic losses they cause. A peak-over-threshold approach is used to identify flood peaks, and the relationship between the disasters and climate indices is investigated using Poisson regression. The major results are as follows: (1) the northeastern part of China was severely affected by drought disasters (average damaged area was 6.44 million hectares); (2) the northern part of East China and Central China upstream of the Yangtze River were severely affected by flood disasters (average damaged area was 3.97 million hectares); (3) in the Yangtze River Basin, there are increasing trends in terms of drought and extreme precipitation, especially upstream of the Yangtze River, accompanied by severe disaster losses; and (4) by combining the trends in drought and extreme precipitation days with the spatial distribution of damaged areas, the study indicates that the increasing trend in droughts has shifted gradually from north to south, and the increasing trend in extreme precipitation gradually has shifted from south to north. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Carbon Capture and Storage: A Review of Mineral Storage of CO2 in Greece
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4400; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124400 - 24 Nov 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
As the demand for the reduction of global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) increases, the need for anthropogenic CO2 emission reductions becomes urgent. One promising technology to this end, is carbon capture and storage (CCS). This paper aims to provide [...] Read more.
As the demand for the reduction of global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) increases, the need for anthropogenic CO2 emission reductions becomes urgent. One promising technology to this end, is carbon capture and storage (CCS). This paper aims to provide the current state-of-the-art of CO2 capure, transport, and storage and focuses on mineral carbonation, a novel method for safe and permanent CO2 sequestration which is based on the reaction of CO2 with calcium or magnesium oxides or hydroxides to form stable carbonate materials. Current commercial scale projects of CCS around Europe are outlined, demonstrating that only three of them are in operation, and twenty-one of them are in pilot phase, including the only one case of mineral carbonation in Europe the case of CarbFix in Iceland. This paper considers the necessity of CO2 sequestration in Greece as emissions of about 64.6 million tons of CO2 annually, originate from the lignite fired power plants. A real case study concerning the mineral storage of CO2 in Greece has been conducted, demonstrating the applicability of several geological forms around Greece for mineral carbonation. The study indicates that Mount Pindos ophiolite and Vourinos ophiolite complex could be a promising means of CO2 sequestration with mineral carbonation. Further studies are needed in order to confirm this aspect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
Open AccessArticle
Achieving China’s Long-Term Carbon Emission Abatement Targets: A Perspective from Regional Disparity
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4244; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114244 - 17 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
As China is the largest greenhouse gas emitter and has the characteristics of significant regional disparity, the issue of regional low-carbon development strategy is of vital importance for the achievement of the country’s long-term emission targets. This work focused on China’s long-term carbon [...] Read more.
As China is the largest greenhouse gas emitter and has the characteristics of significant regional disparity, the issue of regional low-carbon development strategy is of vital importance for the achievement of the country’s long-term emission targets. This work focused on China’s long-term carbon emission abatement from the perspective of regional disparity. We firstly analyzed the national emission trajectories consistent with the current Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), 2 °C, and 1.5 °C goals in two economic growth pathways by 2050 using a linear programming model, then classified the provinces into three categories, and compared results of different scenarios of regional disparity patterns, economic growth rates, and emission targets. Results showed that different regional patterns led to different required carbon reduction targets for all categories, and the regional emission reduction measures had to be stronger in a higher growth rate or a more stringent emission target, especially for the developed areas. A scheme of regionally coordinated low-carbon development was then recommended for the formulation of long-term regional emission targets, and carbon reduction strategies for categories were proposed in terms of energy mix optimization, industrial transformation, and technology innovation, which is of great policy implication for China in regional development and national emission targets enhancement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Endogenous or Exogenous? Examining Trans-Boundary Air Pollution by Using the Air Quality Index (AQI): A Case Study of 30 Provinces and Autonomous Regions in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4220; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114220 - 15 Nov 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
China is experiencing severe environmental degradation, particularly air pollution. To explore whether air pollutants are spatially correlated (i.e., trans-boundary effects) and to analyse the main contributing factors, this research investigates the annual concentration of the Air Quality Index (AQI) and 13 polluting sectors [...] Read more.
China is experiencing severe environmental degradation, particularly air pollution. To explore whether air pollutants are spatially correlated (i.e., trans-boundary effects) and to analyse the main contributing factors, this research investigates the annual concentration of the Air Quality Index (AQI) and 13 polluting sectors in 30 provinces and autonomous regions across China. Factor analysis, the linear regression model and the spatial auto-regression (SAR) model are employed to analyse the latest data in 2014. Several important findings are derived. Firstly, the global Moran’s I test reveals that the AQI of China shows a distinct positive spatial correlation. The local Moran’s I test shows that significant high–high AQI agglomeration regions are found around the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei area and the regions of low–low AQI agglomeration all locate in south China, including Yunnan, Guangxi and Fujian. Secondly, the effectiveness of the SAR model is much better than that of the linear regression model, with a significantly improved R-squared value from 0.287 to 0.705. A given region’s AQI will rise by 0.793% if the AQI of its ambient region increases by 1%. Thirdly, car ownership, steel output, coke output, coal consumption, built-up area, diesel consumption and electric power output contribute most to air pollution according to AQI, whereas fuel oil consumption, caustic soda output and crude oil consumption are inconsiderably accountable in raising AQI. Fourthly, the air quality in Beijing and Tianjin is under great exogenous influence from nearby regions, such as Hebei’s air pollution, and cross-boundary and joint efforts must be committed by the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region in order to control air pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Inter-Organisational Collaboration Networks on Climate Knowledge Flows and Communication to Pastoralists in Kenya
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4180; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114180 - 13 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
In Kenya, pastoralists have utilized natural grasslands using practices that often result in overgrazing, low productivity and low income. Such practices have caused environmental problems, which could be exacerbated by climate change. Although knowledge on practices that increase pastoralists’ capacity to adapt to [...] Read more.
In Kenya, pastoralists have utilized natural grasslands using practices that often result in overgrazing, low productivity and low income. Such practices have caused environmental problems, which could be exacerbated by climate change. Although knowledge on practices that increase pastoralists’ capacity to adapt to climate and environmental challenges is currently available, the adoption rate remains poor. Hence, there is growing interest in understanding how cross-scale inter-organizational collaboration process either facilitates or hinders climate knowledge communications to and uptake by pastoralists. This study used network analysis to identify how inter-organizational collaborations in knowledge production and dissemination shape knowledge flow and communication to pastoralists in Kenya. A knowledge mapping workshop, key informant interviews and questionnaire surveys were used to identify the key organizations involved in the generation, brokering, and dissemination of adaptation knowledge to pastoralists. Two networks of configurations were explored: (i) relations of collaboration in knowledge production and (ii) relations of collaboration in knowledge dissemination. Measure of clustering coefficient, density, core-periphery location, and degree centrality were used to analyze the network structure and cohesion, and its influence on knowledge flow and adoption. Findings revealed a strong integration across the network with research institutes, NGOs (Non-governmental organizations), and CBOs (Community based organizations) identified as among the central actors, based on their degree centrality. Further, we observed a higher density of ties among actors in the knowledge production network than the dissemination network. The lower density of the dissemination network indicates there are not that many activities by key organizations aimed at ensuring that knowledge reaches the users, compared to activities related to knowledge generation. This also results in poor feedback processes from local pastoralists to knowledge generators and brokers. Knowledge transfer and uptake could therefore be enhanced by improving dissemination activities and feedback mechanisms in the dissemination network as a means of capturing pastoralist perspectives on the relevance, reliability, and usability of knowledge for action. Reflection and revision can be used to improve knowledge so that it is more in sync with a pastoralist context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Household Preferences to Reduce Their Greenhouse Gas Footprint: A Comparative Study from Four European Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4044; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114044 - 05 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
This paper investigates households’ preferences to reduce their carbon footprint (CF) measured in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). It assumes that a substantial CF reduction of households is essential to reach the 1.5 °C goal under the Paris Agreement. Data was collected [...] Read more.
This paper investigates households’ preferences to reduce their carbon footprint (CF) measured in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). It assumes that a substantial CF reduction of households is essential to reach the 1.5 °C goal under the Paris Agreement. Data was collected in four mid-size cities in France, Germany, Norway, and Sweden. Quantitative data was obtained from 308 households using a CF calculator based on a questionnaire, and a simulation game. The latter investigated households’ preferences when being confronted with the objective to reduce their CF by 50 percent by 2030 in a voluntary and forced scenario. Our results show that the greater the CO2e-reduction potential of a mitigation action, the less willing a household was to implement that action. Households preferred actions with moderate lifestyle changes foremost in the food sector. Voluntarily, households reached a 25% footprint reduction by 2030. To reach a substantial reduction of 50 percent, households needed to choose actions that meant considerable lifestyle changes, mainly related to mobility. Given our results, the 1.5 °C goal is unlikely to be realizable currently, unless households receive major policy support. Lastly, the strikingly similar preferences of households in the four European cities investigated seem to justify strong EU and international policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Consumption-Based Accounting and the Trade-Carbon Emissions Nexus in Asia: A Heterogeneous, Common Factor Panel Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3627; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103627 - 11 Oct 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
This paper considers a recently developed consumption-based carbon emissions database from which emissions calculations are made based on the domestic use of fossil fuels plus the embodied emissions from imports minus exports, to test directly for the importance of trade in national emissions. [...] Read more.
This paper considers a recently developed consumption-based carbon emissions database from which emissions calculations are made based on the domestic use of fossil fuels plus the embodied emissions from imports minus exports, to test directly for the importance of trade in national emissions. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) alone is responsible for over half the global outflows of carbon via trade. The econometric estimations—which focused on a panel of 20 Asian countries—determined that: (i) trade flows were significant for consumption-based emissions but not for territory-based emissions; and (ii) exports and imports offset each other in that exports lower consumption-based emissions, whereas imports increase them. Hence, all countries should have both an interest and a responsibility to help lower the carbon intensity of energy in countries that are particularly important for global carbon transfers—the PRC and India. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Change, Agriculture, and Economic Development in Ethiopia
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3464; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103464 - 28 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Quantifying the economic effects of climate change is a crucial step for planning adaptation in developing countries. This study assesses the economy-wide and regional effects of climate change-induced productivity and labor supply shocks in Ethiopian agriculture. We pursue a structural approach that blends [...] Read more.
Quantifying the economic effects of climate change is a crucial step for planning adaptation in developing countries. This study assesses the economy-wide and regional effects of climate change-induced productivity and labor supply shocks in Ethiopian agriculture. We pursue a structural approach that blends biophysical and economic models. We consider different crop yield projections and add a regionalization to the country-wide CGE results. The study shows, in the worst case scenario, the effects on country-wide GDP may add up to −8%. The effects on regional value-added GDP are uneven and range from −10% to +2.5%. However, plausible cost-free exogenous structural change scenarios in labor skills and marketing margins may offset about 20–30% of these general equilibrium effects. As such, the ongoing structural transformation in the country may underpin the resilience of the economy to climate change. This can be regarded as a co-benefit of structural change in the country. Nevertheless, given the role of the sector in the current economic structure and the potency of the projected biophysical impacts, adaptation in agriculture is imperative. Otherwise, climate change may make rural livelihoods unpredictable and strain the country’s economic progress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationships among Environmental Attitudes, Risk Perceptions, and Coping Behavior: A Case Study of Four Environmentally Sensitive Townships in Yunlin County, Taiwan
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2663; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082663 - 29 Jul 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Climate change issues have attracted much attention in recent years. To date, the related research has focused mostly on the national and regional impacts of climate change. Taiwan, an island state, has relatively high vulnerability to the consequences of climate change, and its [...] Read more.
Climate change issues have attracted much attention in recent years. To date, the related research has focused mostly on the national and regional impacts of climate change. Taiwan, an island state, has relatively high vulnerability to the consequences of climate change, and its western coastal areas are particularly vulnerable. Yunlin County, with 13 townships that are all prone to flooding, will be highly affected by climate change. In this study, the 13 townships are grouped into four categories of synthesized vulnerability and ecological footprint (EF): “low synthesized vulnerability/low EF” (Linnei), “high synthesized vulnerability/low EF” (Sihu), “low synthesized vulnerability/high EF” (Mailiao), and “high synthesized vulnerability/high EF” (Huwei). Ecological footprint was used to measure the human demand for resources and ecological services, as well as a way to understand the relationships among human living habits, consumption patterns, and natural capital consumption. Then, the relationships among attitudes to climate change, risk perceptions, and coping behavioral intentions in these four categories were examined using structural equation models (SEM). A stratified random sampling method was used to collect 582 valid questionnaires. In addition to descriptive statistical analyses, the results of the SEMs for the four sensitivity categories indicate that different townships exhibit different causal relationships among attitudes to climate change, risk perceptions, and behavioral intentions. These findings can support appropriate strategies for governments, communities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for ensuring that areas of various sensitivities can cope. However, more vulnerable townships exhibit no significant positive relationship between attitudes to and knowledge of climate change, place attachment, and their adaptation behavioral intentions in the face of disaster risk perceptions. Therefore, in areas with high vulnerability, special attention should be paid to making the residents improve their adaptive behavioral intentions in the face of disaster risk perceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Decomposition Analysis of Carbon Emissions from Energy Consumption in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, China: A Weighted-Combination Model Based on Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index and Shapley Value
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2535; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072535 - 19 Jul 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (B-T-H) region, who captures the national strategic highland in China, has drawn a great deal of attention due to the fog and haze condition and other environmental problems. Further, the high carbon emissions generated by energy consumption has restricted its further [...] Read more.
The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (B-T-H) region, who captures the national strategic highland in China, has drawn a great deal of attention due to the fog and haze condition and other environmental problems. Further, the high carbon emissions generated by energy consumption has restricted its further coordinated development seriously. In order to accurately analyze the potential influencing factors that contribute to the growth of energy consumption carbon emissions in the B-T-H region, this paper uses the carbon emission coefficient method to measure the carbon emissions of energy consumption in the B-T-H region, using a weighted combination based on Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) and Shapley Value (SV). The effects affecting carbon emissions during 2001–2013 caused from five aspects, including energy consumption structure, energy consumption intensity, industrial structure, economic development and population size, are quantitatively analyzed. The results indicated that: (1) The carbon emissions had shown a sustained growth trend in the B-T-H region on the whole, while the growth rates varied in the three areas. In detail, Hebei Province got the first place in carbon emissions growth, followed by Tianjin and Beijing; (2) economic development was the main driving force for the carbon emissions growth of energy consumption in B-T-H region. Energy consumption structure, population size and industrial structure promoted carbon emissions growth as well, but their effects weakened in turn and were less obvious than that of economic development; (3) energy consumption intensity had played a significant inhibitory role on the carbon emissions growth; (4) it was of great significance to ease the carbon emission-reduction pressure of the B-T-H region from the four aspects of upgrading industrial structure adjustment, making technological progress, optimizing the energy structure and building long-term carbon-emission-reduction mechanisms, so as to promote the coordinated low-carbon development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Climate Impact of the US Policy Choices Using an Economic and Earth System Model
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061884 - 05 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Climate policy plays an important role in keeping global temperature rises below the target of 1.5–2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and technological innovations are key to determining the effectiveness of climate policy. In this study, we investigated the climate impact of the USA’s [...] Read more.
Climate policy plays an important role in keeping global temperature rises below the target of 1.5–2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and technological innovations are key to determining the effectiveness of climate policy. In this study, we investigated the climate impact of the USA’s policy choices using the enforced multi-factor regional climate and economy system (EMRICES,) and the Earth system model from Beijing Normal University (BNU-ESM). Three emission scenarios were designed based on the assumption of whether or not the US follows its proposed nationally determined contribution (NDC) and makes use of technological innovations. The results showed that if the US does not implement the NDC and had no technological progress, there would be an extra 176.7 Gt of cumulative carbon emissions by the end of the 21st century compared to that of all the countries that follow their NDC. The additional emissions would lead to an increase of 62 ppm in CO2 concentration and a 0.4 °C increase in global warming by 2100. It would also lead to a 2% loss for the US and Chinese economies, compared to the NDC scenario. The Earth system model results also show that even if all the countries follow the DNC, it would be difficult to keep the temperature from increasing less than 1.5 °C. This study implies that the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and their refusal to adopt technological progress is not conducive to achieving the 1.5 °C goal, and more stringent emission reduction targets or technology innovations would be required for the world to control global warming to a level below 1.5 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparing the International Knowledge Flow of China’s Wind and Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Industries: Patent Analysis and Implications for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1883; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061883 - 05 Jun 2018
Cited by 17
Abstract
Climate-relevant technologies, like wind and solar energy, are crucial for mitigating climate change and for achieving sustainable development. Recent literature argues that Chinese solar firms play more active roles in international knowledge flows, which may better explain their success in international markets when [...] Read more.
Climate-relevant technologies, like wind and solar energy, are crucial for mitigating climate change and for achieving sustainable development. Recent literature argues that Chinese solar firms play more active roles in international knowledge flows, which may better explain their success in international markets when compared to those of Chinese wind firms; however, empirical evidence remains sparse. This study aims to explore to what extent and how do the international knowledge flows differ between China’s wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) industries? From a network perspective, this paper develops a three-dimensional framework to compare the knowledge flows in both explicit and tacit dimensions: (i) inter-country explicit knowledge clusters (by topological clustering of patent citation network); (ii) inter-firm explicit knowledge flow (patent citation network of key firms); and, (iii) inter-firm tacit knowledge flow (by desktop research and interviews). The results show that China’s PV industry has stronger international knowledge linkages in terms of knowledge clustering and explicit knowledge flow, but the wind power industry has a stronger tacit knowledge flow. Further, this study argues that the differences of global knowledge links between China’s wind and solar PV industries may be caused by technology characteristics, market orientation, and policy implementation. This suggests that these industries both have strong connections to global knowledge networks, but they may involve disparate catch-up pathways that concern follower-modes and leader-modes. These findings are important to help us understand how China can follow sustainable development pathways in the light of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Creating a Novel Multi-Layered Integrative Climate Change Adaptation Planning Approach Using a Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4100; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114100 - 08 Nov 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Climate change adaptation planning requires the integration of disciplines, stakeholders, different modelling approaches, treatment options, and scales of analysis. An integrated stepwise planning approach is a critical requirement for effective climate change adaptation in the context of small island developing states and coastal [...] Read more.
Climate change adaptation planning requires the integration of disciplines, stakeholders, different modelling approaches, treatment options, and scales of analysis. An integrated stepwise planning approach is a critical requirement for effective climate change adaptation in the context of small island developing states and coastal communities. To address this need, this paper reports on a systematic review of 116 research papers from an initial set of around 650 academic peer-reviewed papers. These papers were assessed and categorised based on their planning framework or the approach utilised, measured climate change impacts, employed methods and tools, and recommended adaptation strategies or options. This study identified three important dimensions of a fully integrated climate change adaptation planning process, namely, integration in assessment, integration in modelling, and integration in adaptive responses. Moreover, it resulted in the formulation of a novel multi-layered integrative climate change adaptation planning approach. Adopting this holistic and integrative approach is more likely to yield better climate change adaptation in planning outcomes over the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
How Is Australia Adapting to Climate Change Based on a Systematic Review?
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093280 - 14 Sep 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
We develop and apply a systematic literature review methodology to identify and characterize the ways in which the peer-reviewed literature depicts how climate change adaptation is occurring in Australia. We reviewed the peer-reviewed, English-language literature between January 2005 and January 2018 for examples [...] Read more.
We develop and apply a systematic literature review methodology to identify and characterize the ways in which the peer-reviewed literature depicts how climate change adaptation is occurring in Australia. We reviewed the peer-reviewed, English-language literature between January 2005 and January 2018 for examples of documented human adaptation initiatives in Australia. Our results challenge previous assumptions that adaptation actions are not happening in Australia and describes adaptation processes that are underway. For the most part, actions can be described as preliminary or groundwork, with a particular focus on documenting stakeholder perspectives on climate change and attitudes towards adaptation, and modelling or scenario planning in the coastal zone, agriculture, and health sectors. Where concrete adaptations are reported, they are usually in the agricultural sector and are most common in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia’s food basket. The findings of the review advance our understanding of adaptation to climate change as a process and the need to consider different stages in the process when tracking adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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