Climate Change

Climate change affects 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 central to development.

Rokshana (8) and Laila (8) walk through flood waters on their way to school in Bishambarpur. During monsoons most of the children can not attend school because of flooding. G.M.B. Akash/Panos Pictures

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.

IDS researchers and knowldge professionals are carrying out research and policy analysis on climate change, to build adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies that contribute to eradicating poverty; improve our understanding of whose voices and whose knowledge counts in climate policies and meet the challenge of achieving sustainable economic growth through low-carbon development. They do this in multiple ways:

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Photo of Alan Stanley from IDS Knowledge Services More details

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Addressing Synergies and Trade-Offs between Goals for Climate-Resilient Agricultural Systems

What factors lead state and market actors in Africa to commit to implementing more ‘climate smart’ and ‘climate resilient’ agricultural approaches and practices that promoting more sustainable and pro-poor outcomes? This study is examining how different governance systems are handling the complex interface between food, energy, water and climate in pursuit of the SDGs pertaining to these sectors in four countries in Africa. More details

Building Resilience and Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa through Social Learning around Climate Risks

Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to droughts, floods and other climate-related stressors and shocks. This research aims to contribute to greater understanding of the underlying drivers of risk, while also identifying pathways to improve the impact that climatic information may have on building resilience through bridging the 'usability gap'. More details

Climate Change, Uncertainty and Transformation

This project sees uncertainty as a key barrier to efforts to support social transformation to respond to the challenges posed by climate change. More details

Development and Management of NAMAs in India

The overall objective of the project is that the Government of India starts using Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) as one of the mechanisms for addressing climate change mitigation. More details

DFID Innovation Prizes for Environment and Development

Running innovation prizes that will improve poor people's resilience to climate change. 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

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. 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 is looking into the heart of the electricity supply crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. More details

HUMPOL Courting Catastrophe?

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

International Climate Fund: Enhancing Capacity to Deliver on Gender

A partnership between Coffey, IDS and RICARDO AEA has been formed to improve mainstreaming and targeting of women and girls in the International Climate Fund. 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

Learning Hub

A place for DFID staff to connect with and learn from fellow country office staff, DFID specialist advisers and technical experts as a basis for creating applied knowledge for dealing with the complexities of climate change in the development arena. More details

Pro-Poor Electricity Provision

This programme will develop and promote evidence-based policy and programme guidance on low carbon energy investments to benefit poor people, especially women and girls. More details

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre

The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development. More details

Who Drives Climate-Relevant Policies in the Rising Powers?

This project is concerned with the political economy analysis of climate change policies. The central question of the project is who drives/obstructs climate change policies in the rising powers, paying special attention to renewable energy policies. More details

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IDS publications on international development research

Smoke Screen: Why the UK Must Turn its Back on Incineration and Embrace the Circular Economy as a Solution to the Global Waste Crisis

International development charity Tearfund is calling on the UK government to lead the world in abandoning waste incineration after a new report highlighted the dangers of continuing the practice.‘Smoke Screen’ was published as industry experts gathered in London for the World Waste to Energy and Resources Summit. More details

IDS publications on international development research

El Acceso Universal a una Energía Asequible, Fiable, Sostenible y Moderna

El Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) número 7 compromete a la comunidad internacional a garantizar 'el acceso a la energía asequible, fiable, sostenible y moderna para todos'. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Low Carbon Innovation Paths in Europe and Asia

Science and Public Policy 43.4 (2016)

The current technological shift from high to low carbon development coincides with a geographical shift: the rapid expansion of green production and innovation capacity in China and India. This constellation gives rise to the question: to what extent, how and why do the innovation paths in Europe and in Asia differ? More details

Non-IDS publication

Building Innovation Systems for Climate Change Technology Transfer: Perspectives from East Africa

Climate Resilient Economies Programme Policy Brief;006/2016 (2016)

Innovation systems are critical to technology transfer and implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) More details

IDS publications on international development research

Guest Editorial: Comparing Low-carbon Innovation Paths in Asia and Europe

The main objective of this Special Section of Science and Public Policy is to examine whether, how and why low-carbon innovation paths differ between the leading countries in Europe and the rising powers in Asia. More details

Non-IDS publication

Editorial: Comparing Low-carbon Innovation Paths in Asia and Europe

Science and Public Policy 43.4 (2016)

The main objective of this Special Section of Science and Public Policy is to examine whether, how and why low-carbon innovation paths differ between the leading countries in Europe and the rising powers in Asia. More details

Non-IDS publication

Innovation Paths in Europe and Asia: Divergence or Convergence?

Science and Public Policy 43.4 (2016)

This paper asks what insights the literature provides on divergence versus convergence of innovation paths in Europe and Asia. More details

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A New Era for China’s Renewable Energy Development? External Shocks, Internal Struggles and Policy Changes

IDS Evidence Report 196 (2016)

As the world’s largest greenhouse gas (GHG) polluter, China’s annual emissions accounted for almost 30 per cent of the world’s total emissions in 2014 – more than the United States (15 per cent) and the European Union (10 per cent) combined. More details

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Rising Powers, Lowering Emissions?

IDS Policy Briefing 115 (2016)

The importance of ensuring that African countries can meet their rising energy needs in a low-carbon way that also benefits the poor, is widely accepted. The so-called ‘rising powers’, such as China, Brazil and India are already investing in energy infrastructure in Africa. More details

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Who Drives Climate-relevant Policies in the Rising Powers?

IDS Evidence Report 180 (2016)

The future of human life on our planet is influenced increasingly by what goes on in the rising powers. This report presents a political economy analysis of their policies, comparing China, India, Brazil and South Africa. More details

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The Role of Business in Driving and Shaping Renewable Energy Policies in China

IDS Evidence Report 166 (2016)

This report investigates the role of business actors in shaping China’s renewable energy policy process and governance. It finds that with the tremendous growth of renewable industry over the past two decades, a new government–business coalition is taking shape in China. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Water resources and climate change

The state of water resources is one of constant change. Rising temperatures are reducing the reliability and quality of water supplies. More details

IDS publications on international development research

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

Economic Modelling 52.B (2016)

This study advances the state of the art in country-level computable general equilibrium analysis for climate change impact and adaptation analysis by incorporating forward-looking expectations. More details

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The Political Economy of Low-Carbon Investment: the Role of Coalitions and Alignments of Interest in the Green Transformation in China

IDS Evidence Report 160 (2015)

The primary motivation behind this research is the need to accelerate the supply of renewable energy because of the important role that it plays in mitigating climate change and in fostering sustainable development. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Climate Policy meets National Development Contexts: Insights from Kenya and Mozambique

Global Environmental Change 35 (2015)

Despite the growth in work linking climate change and national level development agendas, there has been limited attention to their political economy. This paper applies a political economy analysis to case studies on low carbon energy in Kenya and carbon forestry in Mozambique. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Global Green Economy: Competition or Cooperation between Europe and China?

Europe is confronted by an intimidating triple challenge: economic stagnation, climate change, and a governance crisis. This book demonstrates how these three challenges are closely interrelated. More details

Non-IDS publication

Rent Management - The Heart of Green Industrial Policy

New Political Economy (2015)

At the heart of green industrial policy is rent management: government creating and withdrawing opportunities for profitable investment.This paper asks what the key factors are for rent management to succeed. More details

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Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs April 2014 – March 2015

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2015)

In much writing about development, policy and practice are portrayed as if they are joined at the hip. Policy shapes practice, while learning from practice informs policy processes. In this portrayal, practice is usually understood to refer to development practice, or how development programmes and projects are implemented. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture in 2050 under a Range of Plausible Socioeconomic and Emissions Scenarios

Environmental Research Letters 10.8: Article 085010 (2015)

Results from multiple climate and economic models are combined to examine the global and regional impacts of climate change on agricultural yields, area, production, consumption, prices and trade for coarse grains, rice, wheat, oilseeds and sugar crops to 2050. More details

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Who Drives Climate-relevant Policy Implementation in China?

IDS Evidence Report 134 (2015)

Climate change is emerging as one of the biggest challenges confronting the sustainability of our planet, affecting the development prospects of both developed and developing countries. There is a global effort to find solutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the cause of climate change, by altering patterns of socioeconomic development. More details