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Climate change mitigation policies in developmental states: a comparative approach to China and Brazil
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Muñóz Ucrós, Camila
Ciencias sociales; Ciencias sociales / Administración pública y ciencia militar
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© Derechos reservados del autor
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Brasil; China
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Cambio climático; Desarrollo; Políticas ambientales
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This dissertation aims to make an evaluation of the relationship between development and climate change mitigation policies within developmental states, specifically a comparison between China and Brazil. Developmental states are those countries focused on obtaining economic growth through developmentally driven policies. Traditionally, climate change mitigation and environmental protection have been seen as obstacles to development.
However, as climate change is a global issue which requires domestic response, countries are required to act locally in order to mitigate carbon emissions into the atmosphere and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. Developing countries, such as China and Brazil, are heavily dependent on carbon consumption to promote development and economic growth. For this reason, international pressure has been focused on these countries to reduce CO2 emissions, threatening their future development. Furthermore, it examines Brazil and China’s climate policies in light of developmental state guidance. So far what has been found is that climate policies have been relevant to the same extent as they contribute to economic growth and social development.
China has envisioned the clean energy industry as a business opportunity capable of generating new jobs and exporting technology. Interests mainly focused on other issues independent to those of climate variability mitigation. Brazil, on the other hand, has relied on the promotion of biofuels as an alternative industry to the use of oil. By adopting ethanol and biodiesel as substitutes for fossil fuels, the government has been able to promote the country’s economic development and position itself as the world’s main producer. Similar to China, mitigation actions are generally implemented as long as there are other interests involved.
Furthermore, when there is conflict of interests with environmental policies in both countries, they have acted as developmental states, prioritising development over policies of climate mitigation.Adrian Leftwich’s developmental state model was published in the early 1990s, to further address Chalmers Johnson’s interpretation of the Japanese economic miracle. Nonetheless, Leftwich’s characterisation of developmental states was thought to define a model exclusive to the Asia-Pacific region. This dissertation will apply Leftwich’s model, by adapting it to contemporary China and Brazil, two countries deliberately excluded from the developmental state model, but who now days represent the political context that Leftwich had in mind. In addition, the developmental state model allows a broader interpretation to the current policies implemented by the above mentioned countries, specifically on climate change related issues.
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