The reality of climate change is arguably no longer in question. It has been widely
demonstrated that developing countries will be especially hard-hit by the changing climate and
new interrelated risks. In most countries, climate change is expected to exacerbate existing
development challenges through diminished agricultural productivity and food accessibility,
enhanced water scarcity, financial insecurity and incidence of illness.
This paper reviews the two approaches to climate change, namely mitigation and adaptation,
and examines the complex interrelationships between them, and between climate change and
sustainable development. Adaptation is about reducing the effects of climate change on both
human and natural systems; and mitigation is about reducing the causes of climate change by
decreasing the anthropogenic impact on the climate system. The implications of an apparently
warming world clearly mean that there is need for mitigation; but how effective will mitigation
be, and how far are we prepared to go, to reconcile conflicting interests and tensions? Despite
relatively slow progress, some forms of sustainable development have appeared, and these offer
the best hope we have of mitigating human contribution to climate change, and adapting to its
consequences. One such experiment is of the state of Sikkim : India’s first organic state &its
contribution towards sustainable social change. Hoping this paper will initiate a series of
serious and productive deliberation on the topic
1. Benyus, J.M. (2002). Biomimicry:
innovation inspired by nature.
HarperCollins, New York
2. Hoogh-Guldberg, O. (2007). Coral reefs
under rapid climate change and ocean
acidification. Science ,318, 1737-1742
3. King, D.A. (2004). Climate change
science: adopt, mitigate, or
4. Parikh, J.K. & Parikh, K. (2002). Climate
change: India‘s perceptions, positions,
policies and possibilities. Climate Change
5. Rosenzweig, C. & Parry, M.L. (1994).
Potential impact of climate change on
world food supply. Nature, 367, 133-
6. Sathaye, J., Shukla, P.R., &
Ravindranath, N.H. (2006). Climate
change, sustainable development and
India: global and national concern.
Current Science , 90 (3), 314-325.