Identifying Keys for Successful Development and their Implications for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Abstract: In recent decades, international environmental policy and development scholars argue that (i) countries act by following their near-term national interests in this physically limited earth, (ii) population and stresses on environment accompanying development are increasing globally, (iii) development is the most prioritized issue over environmental problem mitigations for both developed ... read moreand developing countries, and (iv) development and environment need to both be sustainable for developing countries to succeed. Those arguments became the motivation of this dissertation, which is "To learn from successful developing countries that achieved both lower GHG emissions per capita (GHGpc) and improved development 1990-2010." Therefore this dissertation asks "What factors determine whether developing countries achieve lower GHG emissions while meeting their development goals?" Hypotheses that were tested were (i) National policy initiatives, strategies and changes in practices were effective in the successful countries; (ii) Responses to external factors were effective in the successful countries; (iii) Financing by development agencies was effective in the successful countries; and (iv) The mix of economic activities at different stages of development lead to success in the successful countries. Development was measured by the three components of the Human Development Index (HDI). GHG emissions were analyzed using a modified Kaya identity. The findings were compared with insights from 83 in-country development experts. The quantitative data analysis found that many poor countries in the world were successful in increasing their HDI and decreasing GHGpc during 1990-2010. Among them in Asia, Myanmar and Nepal were recognized as very successful countries, and Mongolia and Bangladesh as successful countries. From the qualitative data analysis, this dissertation finds that Myanmar was very successful because of its effective forestry policy regulations that reduced GHGs from land use, change and forestry (LUCF), and its shift away from agriculture and forestry into other natural resources and tertiary industries. Nepal was very successful because its policy regulations effectively improved HDI health and income parameters and reduced GHGs from LUCF, while it transitioned out of forestry and gained remittances from overseas workers and the service sector. The dissertation also finds that Mongolia was a successful country because donors' support during the economic crisis had the positive consequence of reducing GHG emissions through technical modernization, and that Bangladesh was successful because its policy regulations effectively improved its HDI parameters while domestic natural gas replaced higher emitting coal. The findings suggest a positive possibility that if a developing country can find alternative ways to generate income, it can encourage a shift out of agriculture and forestry sectors, from which many developing countries release the majority of GHGs. There is also a negative outcome if their reliance on exports of natural resources or their reliance on remittances from overseas workers increase, then GHGs in other countries may increase where those natural resources are consumed, or in the countries where the overseas workers work. It is also demonstrated that development of the four successful countries were consistent with many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) even though they were created five years after the study period. The following countries, however, did not move forward on (i) GHG related goals for Bangladesh, (ii) health and education related goals for Myanmar, and (iii) health and education related goals for Mongolia. Nepal was the only country to meet all those goals in Asia. Therefore, to achieve SDGs it is recommended that Bangladesh should improve GHG emission reduction, Myanmar should improve health and education, Mongolia should improve health, and Nepal should continue its current practices in the upcoming decade.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2018.
Submitted to the Dept. of Diplomacy, History, and Politics.
Advisor: William Moomaw.
Committee: Ann Rappaport, and Shinsuke Tanaka.
Keywords: Climate change, Environmental studies, and International relations.read less