UN Climate Change Conference – COP18

The world’s climate is changing. Higher temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, and increasingly extreme weather will affect everyone. However, poor people living in the global south have been, and will be, hit hardest.

Woman fetching drinking water in a flooded street in Haiti
Credit: Panos.Dieter Telemans

Climate change is affecting all aspects of development. The fight against poverty, hunger and disease, and the lives and livelihoods of billions of people is at stake. This month, as world leaders gather for the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change these are the issues which will underlie, whether explicitly or otherwise, their discussions.

IDS carries out extensive research and policy analysis on climate change and development. We aim to contribute to reducing poverty and increasing social justice in a changing climate, and to help shape economic growth that is both sustainable and inclusive.

Current projects and work

IDS works on three core research themes:

Research at the IDS based STEPS centre looks at how pathways to sustainability – linking environmental integrity with social justice – can be built in today’s complex, dynamic world. The STEPS website has a range of resources relevant to the issues being discussed at COP18.

Our Knowledge Services department work on a number of climate change projects. These include online knowledge sharing tools and platforms supporting climate compatible development.

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

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

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