Climate Change

Climate change is already affecting the world's poorest and most vulnerable people, who often lack the robust systems and capacity needed to cope. While 'mitigation' through tackling greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to limiting impacts, some change is inevitable and climate change 'adaptation' is now a central issue in development.

A protester holds a sign which reads 'Leave fuel price N(aira) 65 per litre' in a crowd of demonstrators protesting against the removal of a fuel subsidy by the Nigerian government. Credit: George Osodi / Panos

Efforts to integrate climate change adaptation into the development process must ensure that the most vulnerable groups are central to the rapidly expanding climate change research and policy agenda. At the same time, future international climate change regimes must be built on principles of equity, deliver dramatic carbon reductions, establish low-carbon development pathways and provide funding mechanisms that reach the most vulnerable people.

Colleagues across IDS are carrying out research and policy analysis on climate change:

IDS work on climate change focuses on three main themes:

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Photo of Adrian Bannister from IDS Knowledge Services

Adrian Bannister - Web Innovations Convenor

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Photo of Alan Stanley from IDS Knowledge Services

Alan Stanley - Senior Thematic Convenor

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Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow

Alex Shankland - Research Fellow

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Photo of Ana Pueyo

Ana Pueyo - Research Fellow

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Ana Solorzano - Dphil Student

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Photo of Dirk Willenbockel

Dirk Willenbockel - Research Fellow

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Fatema Rajabali, Thematic Convenor, Eldis, Knowledge Services

Fatema Rajabali - Thematic Convenor

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Photo of Fran Seballos, Climate Change Team

Fran Seballos - Partnerships Officer

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Photo of Ian Scoones, Research Fellow in the Knowledge Technology and Society research team

Ian Scoones - Research Fellow

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Photo of Allister McGregor, IDS Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research fellow

J. Allister McGregor - Research Fellow

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Jeremy Allouche - Research Fellow

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Jeremey Lind is a Research Fellow with Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team

Jeremy Lind - Research Fellow

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Jim Sumberg - Research Fellow

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Photo of Jodie Thorpe, Globalisation research fellow

Jodie Thorpe - Research Fellow

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Photo of John Thompson, a Research Fellow with the Knowledge Technology and Society Team

John Thompson - Research Fellow

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Lars Otto Naess - Research Fellow

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Photo of Lyla Mehta

Lyla Mehta - Research Fellow

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Photo of Melissa Leach

Melissa Leach - Research Fellow

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Photo of Michael Loevinsohn, IDS Research Fellow

Michael Loevinsohn - Research Fellow

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picture of Rachel Sabates Wheeler

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler - Research Fellow

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AgMIP Global Economic Model Intercomparison

The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) hosted by the Columbia University Earth Institute is a major international effort to assess the state of global agricultural modelling and to understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector. More details

Assessment of large and small hydropower options

Global climate change requires climate-friendly low carbon energy options. Hydropower is a low carbon energy sources which is globally abundant and has a high potential. Hydropower has been used around the world for centuries. In recent years, both small and large hydropower developments have seen increased use. More details

Assisting Climate Leaders in Vulnerable Developing Countries

This initiative involves four non-governmental organisations with a shared interest in supporting the efforts of vulnerable developing countries to secure a fair, ambitious and effective agreement at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen. More details

China as the new 'shaper' of global development

The pace and significance of China's rise has implications for both traditional and emerging powers, as well as for developing countries. This plays a role for energy and climate change and for many other development issues. Rising Powers Network is a new network that will place China as the new 'shaper' of global development under the ESRC's Rising Power's Programme. More details

China Low Carbon Platform

A new knowledge-sharing web platform supporting an international network for low carbon energy and low carbon development in China. More details

Climate Airwaves

Climate Airwaves aims to support community radio broadcasters to transmit climate research to local communities in an easy-to-understand format. It also promotes sharing between different communities, local policymakers and researchers dealing with a changing climate. More details

Climate Change and Economic Growth: An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Analysis for Egypt

Due to the high concentration of economic activity along the low-lying coastal zone of the Nile delta and its dependence on Nile river streamflow, Egypt's economy is highly exposed to adverse climate change. More details

Climate Planning

This project will consider a range of donor, private sector, NGO and country-led methodologies for climate compatible development strategy building and planning. More details

Cutting Edge Programme on Gender and Climate Change

The BRIDGE Edge Programme on Gender and Climate Change aims to contribute towards thinking, dialogue, anlayses, policy and practice on gender and climate change through a series of events and publications More details

Economic Impacts of Climate Change in Ethiopia

Pilot project to develop a dynamic multisectoral modelling framework for climate change impact and adaptation policy assessment. More details

Economic Modeling of Climate Change Adaptation: Case Studies for Ethiopia, Mozambique and Ghana

This project involves a case-study approach to develop an economywide modeling framework for comparative analysis of climate change adaptation strategies linked to impact models. More details

ESCO Box: Smart monitoring, billing and control for pro-poor access to energy services

IDS will lead on the work package addressing Evaluation of poverty impacts of smart monitoring, billing and control systems. This will analyse the effectiveness of ESCoBox in increasing access to electricity for poor people, looking at ESCoBox’s ability to: (1) increase adoption rates of renewable electricity; (2) increase the establishment of electricity supply businesses (ESCos); (3) increase entrepreneurial activities in poor communities; (4) change electricity consumption patterns in households and small businesses; (5) enable households and small businesses to better understand their power usage and plan accordingly. WP4 combines qualitative and quantitative techniques. More details

Evidence on Demand

Evidence on Demand is an international development information hub, providing access to quality assured resources relating to climate & environment, infrastructure and livelihoods. More details

Fossil Fuel Prices and Taxes, and Their Effects on Economic Development and Income Distribution in Viet Nam

The project aimed to explore the short and long run impacts of imposing additional fossil fuel taxes and removing respective existing subsidies on the Vietnamese economy. More details

Future Agricultures Consortium

The DFID funded Future Agricultures Consortium is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa. Through a network of over 90 researchers across the region and around the world, we are showing how agricultural policy in Africa can help to reduce poverty and strengthen agricultural growth. More details

Global Food and Farming Futures – Lead Expert Group

The Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures addresses the question: ‘How can a future global population of 9 billion people all be fed healthily and sustainably?' More details

Green Growth Diagnostics for Africa

This project seeks to develop a new Green Growth Diagnostics methodology and apply it to two African countries: Kenya and Ghana. These countries are the research hubs of East and West Africa and we believe that they offer a good opportunity to test our methodology in advance to their wider application to other African countries and beyond the African continent. More details

HUMPOL Courting Catastrophe?

Courting Catastrophe Why is there always such a frantic rush in humanitarian response to a disaster, and a slow crawl in making people safe before the hazard strikes? This imbalance has been the norm for many decades. There are signs that more work on reducing vulnerability (often now rebranded as its opposite: resilience) is being done to mitigate disasters, but not enough. And with climate change making hazards worse - more frequent or stronger (or both) there needs to be a very rapid swing in the direction of preparedness and prevention of disasters. Courting Catastrophe is looking at how the humanitarian sector needs to change to meet this challenge, with research in countries in Asia and Africa to develop new ways of acting. More details

Joto Afrika - a bilingual briefing series on climate change adaptation in Africa

A briefing series on climate adaptation which draws lessons, experiences and practical information from across sub-Saharan Africa. More details

Knowledge Navigator - your key to online Climate Change platforms

The Knowledge Navigator project has developed a web-based interactive tool, called a widget, to guide users through to appropriate climate change websites. It is a joint project between IDS Knowledge Services and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) More details

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ER63 Front Cover

Exploring the Potential and Limits of the Resilience Agenda in Rapidly Urbanising Contexts

More than half the world’s population now live in urban areas. In developing countries, these areas will become home to almost all of the projected 50 per cent population growth that will occur between now and 2030, swelling urban populations by a further 1.3 billion by 2030 and 2.5 billion by 2050 (GMR 2013). More details

ER 56 Front Cover

Who Shapes Climate Action in India? Insights from the Wind and Solar Energy Sectors

Within this paper, we specifically take an actor-centred perspective – focusing on players not just within the government but also private sector and civil society – to better understand the influence of such actors in shaping climate change action within India. Through this analysis, we aim to explore the underlying domestic political economy as well as the international linkages shaping climate action. More details

This is the cover to the book Climate Change and Development.

Climate Change and Development

Climate change is the defining developmental challenge of our times. Its impacts threaten to reverse hard won developmental achievements of past decades. Poor countries and peoples will generally be hit soonest and hardest despite them contributing least to causing the problem. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Climate Change

Paper prepared for the OECD's DAC Task Team on Social Protection More details

This is the image for IDS Virtual Bulletin issue 4, Climate Change, Disasters, and Development Post-2015.

Climate Change, Disasters, and Development Post-2015

The year 2015 will be pivotal for climate change, disasters, and development. In all three areas, new international frameworks are due to be agreed to guide policy and action. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Rural Livelihood Diversification and Adaptation to Climate Change

As the world faces the reality of climate change, the urgent needs of communities vulnerable to the changing climate must be addressed. Communities need support in how to adapt; and this adaptation must be rooted in local realities, though supported at district, regional, national and international levels by policy frameworks, and technical and financial resources. More details

Image teaser for ER31

The Evidence of Benefits for Poor People of Increased Renewable Electricity Capacity: Literature Review

Lack of access to electricity is seen as a major constraint to economic growth and increased welfare in developing countries. More details

Non-IDS publication

Planning Exceptionalism? The Political Economy of Climate Resilient Development in Bangladesh

The book outlines the climate change adaptation actions in Bangladesh drawing examples and lessons from the output of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme and other experiences of the country. More details

Image Teaser for Evidence Report 22

The Evidence of Benefits for Poor People of Electricty Provision: Scoping Note and Review Protocol

This document sets out the background and context for a review to be undertaken by IDS assessing the extent and quality of the evidence base for the relationships between low carbon electricity capacity and benefits for poor people More details

ER15 Image Teaser

The Climate Change – Migration – Urbanisation Nexus: Workshop Report

The concept of the ‘Climate Change – Migration – Urbanisation’ nexus emerged from the recognition that climate change, migration, and urbanisation are closely and intimately linked together, and can potentially become sources of vulnerability. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Learning to Tackle Climate Change: Innovative Approaches to Knowledge Sharing and Co-Production in Highly Dispersed Development Organisations

This paper presents findings and reflections from a climate change learning programme with the UK Department for International Development. The programme combined external facilitation with staff knowledge exchange, reflection and problem solving to co-produce knowledge on climate change and development rather than following a set of prescribed technical solutions. More details

Global Climate Change Justice: Toward a Risk-Adjusted Social Floor

Addressing climate change from social justice and human rights perspectives is a global challenge, and international negotiations dealing with climate change need to incorporate such concerns. More details

Non-IDS publication

National Level Policies Versus Local Level Realities - Can the Two be Reconciled to Promote Sustainable Adaptation?

Using three case studies, this article reviews whether or not national policies are supporting poor and vulnerable groups' ability to adapt to climate change. More details

Non-IDS publication

Enabling Frameworks for Low-Carbon Technology Transfer to Small Emerging Economies: Analysis of Ten Case Studies in Chile

Technology transfer is crucial to reduce the carbon intensity of developing countries. Enabling frameworks need to be in place to allow foreign technologies to flow, to be absorbed and to bring about technological change in the recipient country. More details

Non-IDS publication

Low Carbon Development: Key Issues

Low Carbon Development: Key Issues is the first comprehensive textbook to address the interface between international development and climate change in a carbon constrained world. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Justice and Low Carbon Development: Key Issues

Low Carbon Development: Key Issues is the first comprehensive textbook to address the interface between international development and climate change in a carbon constrained world. More details

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