This essay focuses on the need to frame climate change as an issue of sustainable development, and to elucidate the effects this has on climate governance. Framing climate change as a primarily environmental issue at a global level denies its complexities (Tosam and Mbih 2015: 788). The recognition of sustainable development and climate change as inextricably linked has become accepted as the most successful avenue for climate governance (Kharas and Zhang 2014: 29). This is achieved through the integration of economic, social and environmental issues with the aim of creating sustainable growth to meet current generational needs and protect resources for future generations (Bruntland Report 1987). By framing climate change as an issue of sustainable development, the traditional type of state centric governance is challenged. The challenge to state centric governance arises because sustainable development recognises the multifaceted nature of both those who effect climate change, and the variety of consequences that stem from it, which necessitates governance in a multilevel arena (Bulkely and Newell 2010: 106). However, framing climate change as an issue of sustainable development introduces its own complexities. The concept of sustainable development constitutes a slogan more than a governance framework (Wilbanks 2003: 148). Thus there is a wide variety in epistemological and methodological approaches to sustainable development (Grist 2008: 797). This variety of approaches creates a tension between those that believe solutions must be created within the current economic framework, and those who believe society must be restructured to accomplish sustainable development (Grist 2008: 786). Framing climate change within the ...
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...is regard, the text is particularly useful in its analysis of existing climate regimes administration and their theoretical framework, particularly through the use of relevant case studies. Due to the political economy approach that is taken, however, the text doesn’t really engage with the radical approaches articulated in Grist, particularly the radical arguments criticizing the commodification of the environment inherent in a political economy approach. The text relates to the themes of the course in addressing not only issues of climate change, but also the interaction of an array of actors and how they contribute to governance at a global level. This article is important to my research on climate governance because it forms part of the basis of my argument that the umbrella of sustainable development is more conducive to successful governance of climate change.
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