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:

Photo of Adrian Bannister from IDS Knowledge Services More details

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Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow More details

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Photo of Ashish Chaturvedi More details

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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

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Bangladesh Alumni Ambassador More details

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Stephen Spratt, IDS Research Fellow 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

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

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 Tranformation

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

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. 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

Participatory vulnerability assessment and climate adaptation planning for food security and nutrition in East Africa

In collaboration with Bioversity International, the Climate Change Team at IDS is designing a participatory vulnerability analysis toolkit. The work builds upon a toolkit that IDS created for Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP), in work funded by GIZ (documentation currently in Spanish only). It will be field-tested in Tanzania in September 2013. More details

Pro-Poor Access to Electricity

This project is part of an accountable grant provided to IDS by DFID to analyse the factors and policies that increase benefits of renewable electricity provision for the poor and support the design of interventions that take these into account 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

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IDS publications on international development research

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

Knowledge Management for Development (2013)

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

IDS Working Paper 426 (2013)

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

Energy Policy (2013)

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 (2013)

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

From Sustainable Development to the Green Transformation - A Rough Guide

There is increasing realisation in government, civil society and business circles that the global economic system is out of balance with the earth's carrying capacity. Continuing on the same path is not sustainable. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Role of Local Knowledge in Adaptation to Climate Change

WIREs Climate Change 4.2 (2013)

Evidence from recent research suggests that local knowledge may contribute to adaptation to climate change in a number of ways. At the same time, there are concerns over its relevance for future adaptation amidst other challenges. More details

Non-IDS publication

Knowledge Exchange: A Review and Research Agenda

Environmental Conservation 40.01 (2013)

This paper elicits the expert knowledge of academics involved in research and practice of KE from different disciplines and backgrounds to review research themes, identify gaps and questions, and develop a research agenda for furthering understanding about KE. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Addressing Water Security in China: Screening for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Responses

Climate Adaptation Futures (2013)

Adaptation is the poor cousin of the climate change challenge - the glamour of international debate is around global mitigation agreements, while the bottom-up activities of adaptation, carried out in community halls and local government offices, are often overlooked. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Characterising Resilience: Unpacking the concept for tackling climate change and development

Climate and Development 5.1 (2013)

This paper reviews academic use of the concept of ‘resilience’ in social, ecological and socio-ecological systems and its application to the climate, disaster and development nexus. More details

Non-IDS publication

Promoting Resilient Livelihoods through Adaptive Social Protection: Lessons from 124 Programmes in South Asia

Development Policy Review (2013)

Relying on 124 agricultural programmes implemented in 5 countries in Asia, this paper considers how social protection, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are being brought together, and explores the potential gains of these linkages. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Evolving Urban Health Risks: Housing, Water and Sanitation, and Climate Change

This chapter examines the urban health risk transition and some of its implications. It starts by examining how and why health indicators can counterbalance more conventional economic indicators in assessing the impacts of urban environmental burdens. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Youth, Gender and Climate Change: moving from impacts to agency

This framing chapter offers an introduction to the intersection of international development, young women and girls, and climate change. In doing so, it highlights three overarching messages for building inclusive societies in a changing climate. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Fair and Effective Responses to Urbanization and Climate Change: Tapping Synergies and Avoiding Exclusionary Policies

Over the first half of this century, the urbanization level of Asia is expected to increase from about 37 to 64 per cent, while that of Africa is expected to grow from 36 per cent to 58 per cent (United Nations, 2012). More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Demography of Adaptation to Climate Change

Growing awareness that the impacts of climate change on human populations are imminent, as well as potentially devastating, has prodded some policymakers and most of the scientific community to call for more effective action. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Urban Transformation: Health, Shelter and Climate Change

This volume brings together some of the world's foremost experts in urban development with the aim of approaching these issues as an opportunity for real positive change. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Characterising Resilience: Unpacking the Concept for Tackling Climate Change and Development

Climate and Development 5.1 (2013)

The term 'resilience' is increasingly used in the context of discussion, policies and programming around climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. More details

IDS publications on international development research

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

FEMISE Research FEM34-23 (2013)

The study develops a multisectoral intertemporal general equilibrium model with forward-looking agents, population growth and technical progress to analyse the long-run growth prospects of Egypt in a changing climate. More details