This thesis was written under the guidance of Dean Emeritus Richard L. Ottinger and submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law at Pace University School of Law. The author may be contacted at

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This thesis is founded on the proposition that climate change and sustainable development are inextricably linked with each other and form a “nexus” that should be understood in a pragmatic and holistic way. Accordingly, the climate change “problem” cannot be adequately addressed in “silos” or by traditional output control techniques but instead should be viewed as a multidimensional challenge that calls for transformative change in the world energy sector in light of the wider contexts of sustainability and social equity. This thesis observes that with the emergence of a post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations, the world is at or is fast approaching an inflection point in global development. While efforts to improve the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process are laudable, this thesis argues for a transformative approach to converge international collective action on climate change with the broader frameworks of global sustainable development processes. This thesis makes a proposal for the convergence and integration of the UNFCCC and sustainable development work streams, and suggests that China consider taking a leadership role under the broad aspirational goal of building “eco-civilization.”