There is a growing quest for synergy between mitigation and adaptation due to concerns of inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the compartmentalized approaches to climate change. However, little has been done to explore the necessary enabling conditions for synergistic design and implementation. This paper proposes an analytical framework to assess enabling conditions for synergies at the national level and applies it to developing countries to explore the potential move toward synergy. Four enabling conditions for integrating adaptation and mitigation, i.e. policies and strategies, programs and projects, institutional arrangements and financial mechanisms, were used to score developing countries relative to each other. We hypothesized that low income and vulnerable countries might more likely pursue synergy given the urgency for both adaptation and mitigation. Despite the relative infancy of the synergy concept, about half of countries studied exhibited good synergy potential, 80% of which were middle-income developing countries. The assumption of vulnerability as a precursor for pursuing synergy was supported by the fact that small island states possessed relatively high synergy potential. Income was weakly associated with the synergy potential with least developed countries having low synergy scores. Emerging economies possessed strong synergy potential which might be associated with better capacity available and/or potential for shaping their global images due to their growing emissions. In sum, the proposed analytical framework could be useful to identify areas of emphasis to promote holistic and efficient climate policies. As this study largely focused on the enabling conditions, further studies are needed to scrutinize and manage the mitigation-adaptation balances in countries possessing good synergy potentials.
- sustainable development
- change policy