Are Climate Change and Sustainable Development Really Linked?

(October 2010) According to Karen Hardee, the gap between those working on climate change issues and those in international development needs to be bridged. The two communities have different priorities and “don’t speak the same language.” Mainstreaming climate change adaption into development planning and poverty reduction is an urgent issue, especially to developing countries, but how can they be integrated? In her presentation as part of PRB’s Policy Seminar series, Hardee identified existing connections between climate change and sustainable development, and also made some recommendations for stronger and more durable links. She examined links at the global level using the example of health; the national level through the relationship between National Adaptation Programmes of Action and national development strategies; and at the sectoral level through the lens of population. She suggested a new paradigm that includes rethinking the global and national architecture on development and climate change; commonly agreed-upon definitions; more integrated financing; and involving communities and stakeholders, particularly women.


Karen Hardee is president of Hardee Associates LLC. She has over 25 years of experience in population and development, family planning and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, gender integration, climate change, policy analysis, and monitoring and evaluation. She is currently a visiting senior fellow at the Population Reference Bureau. Previously Hardee was vice president of research at Population Action International.