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 Adrian Bannister from IDS Knowledge Services More details

Photo of Alan Stanley from IDS Knowledge Services More details

Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Ana Pueyo More details

Photo of Ashish Chaturvedi More details

Photo of Dirk Willenbockel More details

Photo of Frances Seballos More details

Photo of Gordon McGranahan, Cities research fellow More details

Photo of Ian Scoones, Research Fellow More details

Photo of Jeremy Allouche, IDS research fellow More details

Photo of John Thompson, a Research Fellow in the IDS Rural Futures research cluster More details

Photo of Lars Otto Naess More details

Photo of Lyla Mehta More details

Photo of Melissa Leach, IDS Director More details

Bangladesh Alumni Ambassador More details

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Roz Price photo More details

Photo of Sharon Suri, Alumni Ambassador, Malaysia More details

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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

The Political Economy of Climate-Compatible Development

This project is based on the contention that understanding and working with the prevailing political economy is crucial to change the understanding and commitment of decision makers, to improve coordination, collaboration and mobilisation amongst key stakeholders, and to strengthen the institutions and institutional capacity to deliver climate compatible 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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View all Research Theme's publications

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IDS publications on international development research

Bureaucratic Manoeuvres and the Local Politics of Climate Change Mitigation in China and India

This article explores how strategies of thinking and working politically are used by agencies within developing country governments to influence wider government agendas. More details

Women-initiated measures to cope with environmental stresses and climate change in South Asia

This review gives a number of examples of women-initiated measures to cope with climate change and environmental stresses in South Asia. More details

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Bringing Together Voices to Address Climate Change Uncertainty in the Indian Sundarbans

IDS Policy Briefing 149 (2018)

The majority of the five million people that live in the deltaic Indian Sundarbans face continuous uncertainties in relation to their shelter, livelihoods, and health. Climate change is one of the key factors aggravating this situation. More details

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Transforming Urban Governance to Manage Uncertainty and Climate Change in Mumbai, India

IDS Policy Briefing 148 (2018)

Despite unprecedented wealth accumulation, coastal Mumbai suffers from a myriad of socioeconomic and ecological challenges as well as connected uncertainties. These include endemic flooding, shrinking of sensitive ecosystems, inequality, and marginalisation of natural resource-dependent communities, such as fishers. More details

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Addressing Climate Change Uncertainty in Dryland Kachchh, India

IDS Policy Briefing 147 (2018)

The semi-arid district of Kachchh in Gujarat, India is known for its erratic rainfall, water scarcity, and droughts. Climate change has intensified extreme temperature and rainfall patterns and also led to changes to the long coastline. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Do Trees on Farms Matter in African Agriculture

World Bank (2018)

This study highlights the prevalence and importance of trees in African agriculture. Trees on farms provide a significant source of income for many households across the continent. More details

This is the cover to the IDS Bulletin, 'Green Power for Africa: Overcoming the Main Constraints'.

Green Power for Africa: Overcoming the Main Constraints

IDS Bulletin 48.5-6 (2017)

Inadequate power supply in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) means that only 37 per cent of sub-Saharan Africans have access to electricity. Those with access are prone to experience problems with regular power outages. In many sub- SSA countries, electricity access rates are decreasing because electrification efforts are slower than population growth. More details

Climate change and stability in North Africa

The impacts of climate change in North Africa are complex and not fully understood, they also interact and amplify other drivers and socio-economic factors, making attribution difficult to detangle. More details

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Improving the Impact of Climate Information Services in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands

IDS Policy Briefing 145 (2017)

Climate variability and change are affecting millions of poor people in Kenya, particularly in arid and semi-arid lands. Significant investments are being made in developing Climate Information Services (CIS) which are tailored to the needs of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists and aim to help them adapt to the impact of climate change in these regions. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Local Climate Governance and Policy Innovation in China: A Case Study of a Piloting Emission Trading Scheme in Guangdong Province

Asian Journal of Political Science (2017)

This paper investigates how piloting programmes in China can promote local policy innovations. By using one of the piloting emission trading schemes (ETS) in Guangdong province as a case study, it is argued that the main features of the piloting experiments, particularly in the climate change domain, are largely different from previous local marketization experiments that dominate the reform period of China. More details

This is the front cover of IDS Bulletin 48.4, 'Courting Catastrophe?
Humanitarian Policy and Practice in a Changing Climate'.

Courting Catastrophe? Humanitarian Policy and Practice in a Changing Climate

IDS Bulletin 48.4 (2017)

Humanitarian crises appear dramatic, overwhelming and sudden, with aid required immediately to save lives. Whereas climate change is about changing hazard patterns and crises are in reality rarely unexpected, with academic researchers and humanitarian and development organisations warning about possible risks for months before they take place. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Research Report 83, 'Green Investment Diagnostics for Africa: What are the Binding Constraints to Investment in Renewables in Kenya and
Ghana?'

Green Investment Diagnostics for Africa: What are the Binding Constraints to Investment in Renewables in Kenya and Ghana?

IDS Research Report 83 (2017)

The vast potential of renewable energy is failing to be realised in many African countries, in spite of the many pledges made by donors and international financiers. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Investment in Renewable Energy, Fossil Fuel Prices and Policy Implications for Latin America and the Caribbean

Financing for Development 264 (2017)

This paper examines if recent sharp declines in the price of oil and other fossil fuels will discourage private investment in renewable energy, which is key for climate change mitigation. The increase in private renewables investment in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region have been driven by sharp declines in costs alongside supportive policies. More details

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

Who Drives Climate-relevant Policies in the Rising Powers

New Political Economy 22.5 (2017)

The future of human life on our planet is influenced increasingly by what goes on in the rising powers. This paper provides a political economy analysis of the climate-relevant policies of China, India, Brazil and South Africa. 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

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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Closing the Plastic Waste Loop - how do waste pickers contribute?

05 Dec 2017
By Patricia Noble , Patrick Schröder

Climate change uncertainty: mind the gap

11 Oct 2017
By Synne Movik, Catherine Wilson, Shibaji Bose

A tale of two cities: flooding in Houston and Mumbai – time to learn?

01 Sep 2017
By Hans Nicolai Adam, Lyla Mehta, D. Parthasarathy
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