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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Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow More details

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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

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

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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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

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

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

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

IDS publications on international development research

China's Impact on the Global Wind Power Industry

Discussion Paper 16/2012 (2012)

This paper investigates whether China’s transformative influence extends to the new green economy. Drawing on the debate about how China is driving major economic changes in the world – the ‘Asian drivers’ debate – it identifies five corridors of influence and investigates their relevance for the wind energy industries. More details

Non-IDS publication

Vulnerability and Adaptation of African rural populations to Climate Change: the Case of Fishers’ Communities in the Central Delta of Niger

Climate Change 3-4.115 (2012)

In this paper we examine ways Sahelian floodplain fishers have adapted to the strong environmental variations that have affected the region in the last two decades. We analyse their vulnerability and adaptive capacity in the face of expected changes in rainfall combined with the predicted effects of dam construction. More details

Renewable Technology Transfer to Developing Countries: One Size Does Not Fit All

IDS Working Paper 412 (2012)

Developing countries are experiencing unprecedented levels of economic growth. As a result, they will be responsible for most of the future growth in energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. More details

Non-IDS publication

Climate Change Communication and Social Learning - Review and Strategy Development for CCAFS

This working paper offers an overview of current theory and practice on climate change communication and social learning in the global South with a view of informing CCAFS strategy in this area. More details

Behind the Scenes at a Climate Change Knowledge Sharing Network

IDS Working Paper 402 (2012)

Knowledge sharing networks are increasingly recognised as means of mobilising the knowledge and capacities needed to respond to complex and changing realities, such as the challenges posed by climate change. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Extreme Weather Events and Crop Price Spikes in a Changing Climate: Illustrative global simulation scenarios

This study uses a global dynamic multi-region computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to explore the potential food price impacts of a number of extreme weather event scenarios in 2030 for each of the main exporting regions for rice, maize and wheat. More details

Front cover for IDS Bulletin 43.5 New roles for communication in development? September 2012

New Roles for Communication in Development?

IDS Bulletin 43.5 (2012)

This Bulletin explores the significant shift in the landscape of research communications in development in recent years and how this might give us new understandings of what drives social change and policy influence. More details

Non-IDS publication

Adaptation Policy, Governance and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper asks what can be learned about adaptation policy by considering the political context in sub-Saharan Africa. More details

Non-IDS publication

Climate Change and Agricultural Policy Processes in Malawi

This paper explores climate change - agriculture debates in Malawi in view of the increasing interest and funding pledges for the agricultural sector in a changing climate. More details