Climate Co-benefits in Rapidly Urbanizing Emerging Economies: Scientific and Policy Imperatives

  • Mahendra SethiEmail author
Part of the Springer Climate book series (SPCL)


Emerging economies face multiple development challenges—rapid economic growth, proliferation of urban centers, environmental degradation, and growing infrastructure demand in an increasingly warming world. This is further accentuated by low performance of their cities on parameters of social development, equity, functional autonomy, and financial capacity. In the last decade or so, co-benefits approach has proved to be a key mechanism that provides both vertical cross-linkages between institutions (global, national, and local objectives) on the one end and horizontal interactions between development, environment, and climate policies. It thus becomes crucial to assess the relevance of co-benefits in emerging economies and draw from their early experiments. This investigation analyses the assessment tools, lessons learned, and knowledge gaps with the overarching aim to discern policy imperatives that moderate current unsustainable pathways of urbanization. Adopting a case study methodology, the chapter tests the applicability of urban co-benefits as an approach in India, China, Brazil, and Turkey, which together comprise about half of global urban population, underpinning how to promote concerted climate action based on scientific principles and specific contextual needs.



Earlier versions of this article were presented in the WMO and UNEP sponsored Cities and Climate Change Science Conference, Edmonton and research meeting at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Tokyo (2018). The author acknowledges the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Germany) for the research fellowship. The views presented are independent without any influence or conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)BerlinGermany

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