Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Maxwell Boykoff

Abstract

This report proposes that the climate crisis can be looked at as an opportunity at this time to not only curb the occurrence and effects of climate change, but to additionally address the problem of underdevelopment. The deep connections between these two problems are explored, and it is suggested that by aiming to achieve widespread clean energy access in the developing world, both adaptation and mitigation projects and the Millennium Development Goals can be pursued using the same resources. The Green Climate Fund, a financial board of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is proposed as the mechanism through which clean energy access can be realized, utilizing a combination of technology transfer and research and development efforts. Ultimately, this proposal serves a double purpose, and does not only seek to offer a comprehensive policy approach, but to additionally reframe the debate taking place in the international arena. The report concludes by calling for a change in the way that climate change policy is configured, using the imbedded proposal as an example of where innovation in this field might move the discussion amongst international leaders.

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