United Nations Division for Sustainable Development
Mission (Encyclopedia of Global Warming)
An agency of the United Nations, the Division for Sustainable Development supports and helps implement programs of the Commission on Sustainable Development. The commission and division were created by the General Assembly of the United Nations to carry out the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which was adopted at the Earth Summit held in June, 1992. Climate change is one of the areas specifically assigned to this organization as part of its responsibilities in natural resources management.
The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) has the mission of enabling economic development in such a manner that it not only works in the present but also will be viable in the foreseeable future. The DSD is to provide assistance and information to all organizations seeking to implement sustainable development. This includes research to define what are central factors preventing sustainable development as well as seeking solutions to overcome these factors. It seeks to work with other groups within the United Nations, as well as encouraging regional and global cooperation to implement successful patterns of sustainable development.
The DSD does not have the power to mandate actions by the members of the United Nations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), or citizens of any country. However, it does work to facilitate changes in the way economic development is implemented. It does this through securing funding for pilot...
(The entire section is 439 words.)
Significance for Climate Change (Encyclopedia of Global Warming)
Development is not sustainable if it creates climatic or other environmental changes that interfere with the continuation of proposed economic enterprises. It is for this reason that diligent research is undertaken on all development proposals to discern if any factor of a proposal might increase any type of pollution. The DSD has accepted a finding by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that it is more than 90 percent likely that the current fossil-fuel-based energy system emits greenhouse gases (GHGs) that cause global warming.
While recognizing that fossil fuels will remain part of the energy system in the short run, the DSD seeks the means to move to alternative sources of energy as rapidly as possible. An example of this program is the electrification of rural areas of Kiribati. These areas are not connected to the urban electrical grid, which relies mainly on imported fossil fuels. Instead, a DSD-sponsored pilot project installed solar panels and batteries on private houses to power electric lights. The project proved the practicality and reliability of such systems in relatively isolated areas, as well as investigating the minimum number of panels and batteries needed in an area to allow an economically feasible support structure to operate. Providing the support structure also made it possible for individuals to consider adding more solar panels to power refrigeration and other...
(The entire section is 348 words.)
Further Reading (Encyclopedia of Global Warming)
Boyle, Alan E., and David Freestone, eds. International Law and Sustainable Development: Past Achievements and Future Challenges. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Collection of essays that examine how the issues raised at the Earth Summit have been incorporated into international law.
Robinson, Nicholas A. Strategies Toward Sustainable Development: Implementing Agenda 21. New York: Oceana, 2005. With Agenda 21 as the foundation for international negotiations on sustainable development, this book examines the major agreements and efforts to implement Agenda 21’s ideals.
World Bank. Office of the Publisher, ed. Five Years After Rio: Innovations in Environmental Policy. Washington, D.C.: Author, 1997. Assuming that sustainable development policies must work within a market economy, this publication examines how they fit into contemporary markets and what new market systems might be needed to accommodate them.
(The entire section is 127 words.)