To be effective in curbing climate change low carbon development must be

To be effective in curbing climate change low carbon

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To be effective in curbing climate change, low- carbon development must be implemented glob- ally, i.e., in the North as well as in the South. Such a dramatic change in development paths will probably be unfeasible without a globally negoti-ated distribution of the burdens and benefits in accordance with accepted principles of fairness. The necessity of shifting toward low-carbon de- velopment in international agreements is obvious when considering both the global character of climate change and the greatly unequal distribu-tion of technical and institutional capabilities and living standards between the North and South. It becomes even more obvious when one considers the importance to this process of knowledge de- velopment and knowledge destruction. Various kinds of technical and institutional inno- vation are necessary in order to restructure produc- tion and consumption toward more sustainable socio-economic systems. The recognition that in- novation is interactive is essential; hence, the in- novative path and performance of an economy – whether a country, region, or sector – is a result not only of the innovation performance of individual firms, but also their interaction with each other and with other systems, not least the financial, po-litical, and research systems. Within the context of structural change toward sustainability, the focus of this review is on the role of increased reliance on renewable energy sources. More specifically, we explore how an internation- LOW-CARBON INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 17
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ally coordinated development of low-carbon learn- ing, innovation, and competence building systems can contribute to climate change mitigation. Learning, innovation, and competence building systems (LICS) are at the heart of this report. A ba-sic assumption is that a ‘systems perspectives’ can contribute to the design and implementation of better development strategies. The notion of LICS implies that economic and social development depends on innovation. Successful innovation re-quires multiple layers of interaction and learning among a wide range of individuals, organisations, and institutions. The key issues addressed in this review are, firstly, how the notion of LICS can help us understand the challenges of low-carbon development (LCD), and secondly, how the design of support structures for the building of LICS contributes to the strengthen-ing of LCD. Supporting low-carbon LICS rests on the devel-opment of knowledge infrastructures, institutions, and learning capabilities. The building of such systems is usually a long process, which, given the nature and urgency of the climate challenge, pre-sents a problem of its own. Therefore, it is essen-tial to identify the key leverage points for stimu-lating the process.
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