Governance in climate vulnerable countries will take decades to improve, substantially impeding the ability of nations to adapt to climate change and affecting billions of people globally, according to new research involving the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Published in Nature Sustainability today the study quantifies - for the first time - different governance pathways at the national level over the 21st century, using scenarios of socio-economic development (Shared Socio-economic Pathways) widely used in climate change research.
The authors have relied on the World Governance Indicators provided by the World Bank, which take into account multiple dimensions of governance such as political stability, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption.
Even under the most optimistic development scenarios, it will take until around 2050 to overcome weak governance globally, the study finds. Under pessimistic scenarios characterised by regional rivalry, more than three billion people would still be living in countries with weak governance conditions well beyond mid-century.
“Governance is a key ingredient of a country’s capacity to adapt to climate change,” explained Marina Andrijevic from Climate Analytics and lead author of the study.
“For example, good governance is important for long-term planning, guidelines and regulations, and can be crucial for governments in successfully leveraging investments in adaptation projects. Conversely, a lack of transparency, high corruption or political instability could deprive a government of that much-needed finance.”
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