Low-carbon technology for the rising middle class

de Coninck, Heleen and Byrne, Robert (2013) Low-carbon technology for the rising middle class. Climate Strategies, Cambridge.

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Abstract

This policy brief will discuss the role of local and international technology and innovation policies for low-carbon development of the rising middle class in developing countries. Although a large segment of the population of most developing countries remains severely deprived, most developing countries also have a significant and growing part of the population that could be a feasible target for low-carbon policies. In addition to how industrialised countries decide to reduce their emissions, a major determinant of the carbon intensity of the world economy and our collective ability to stay below 2°C global mean temperature rise, is how the rising middle class in developing countries will develop – along a low-carbon or a higher-carbon pathway. If this rising middle class could embark on a lower-carbon consumption pathway, for instance in their electricity use, their transportation demand and modes, their eating habits and other consumption patterns, this could structurally avoid a considerable amount of greenhouse gas emissions and yield other social, environmental and health benefits. As strong carbon policies incentivising such pathways are unlikely to happen soon in developing countries, technology policies can provide a solution, given they can be aimed at consumption patterns of the rising middle class specifically. This paper makes several case-based recommendations that can put those in developing countries that benefit from a more sustainable lifestyle on a low-carbon development path.

Item Type: Other
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Nora Blascsok
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2015 14:26
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2015 14:27
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/53028

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