This conceptual paper brings together two previously disparate strands of scholarship on climate change and development together with emerging studies of stranded assets. It addresses the question: What are the lessons learnt from this literature for the way developing countries should ‘develop’ in a post-Paris Agreement world? The paper argues that instead of a blind neo-colonial process of rapidly replicating the development paths of already industrialized countries – especially in the context of the fossil fuel sector – developing countries must adopt their own unique development strategies that are more inclusive and transformative. The foregone economic gains from not investing in fossil fuels maybe compensated by the reduced risks of stranded assets and climate change impacts in the future – as well as the reduced risks of climate change impacts on, for example, the agricultural sector – which may facilitate their own unique paths toward inclusive development.
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