Journal Article


Poverty in a Changing Climate

Published on 1 September 2008

Climate change gets attention across the world. IPCC findings call for radical limits to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations responsible for human-induced climate change. Achieving an international agreement, particularly under the UNFCCC, on emissions targets, burden sharing, trading mechanisms and technological and financial assistance remains a high priority concern for the ‘mitigation’ of climate change.

Simultaneously, there is a growing acknowledgement of the need to enable human and natural systems to adjust to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects, a process known as ‘adaptation’. Adaptation is now a central strand of climate policy, thanks to the increasing engagement of the development community, particularly through emphasising the differentiated nature of impacts across the world and within societies. Adaptation is framed as an equity and rights issue. The central message of this IDS Bulletin is that adaptation will be ineffective and inequitable if it fails to learn from and build upon an understanding of the multi-dimensional and differentiated nature of poverty and vulnerability.

Table of contents

Introduction: Building the Case for Pro-poor Adaptation (pdf) Thomas Tanner and Tom Mitchell

Entrenchment or Enhancement: Could Climate Change Adaptation Help to Reduce Chronic Poverty? Thomas Tanner and Tom Mitchell

A Right to Adaptation: Securing the Participation of Marginalised Groups Emily Polack

The Gender Dimensions of Poverty and Climate Change Adaptation Justina Demetriades and Emily Esplen

The Economic Case for Pro-Poor Adaptation: What do we Know? Tamsin Vernon

Assets and Adaptation Martin Prowse and Lucy Scott

Avoiding Repetition: Time for CBA to Engage witht he Livelihoods Literature? Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Tom Mitchell and Frank Ellis

Creating Less Disastrous Disasters Maria Carmen Lemos and Emma L. Tompkins

Institutional Capacity, Climate Change Adaptation and the Urban Poor David Dodman and David Sattherthwaite

Evaluating Climate Change: Pro-Poor Perspectives Merylyn Hedger, Martin Greeley and Jennifer Leavy

Towards a Science of Adaptation that Prioiritises the Poor Andrew Challinor

Climate Risk Screening of Development Portfolios and Programmes Thomas Tanner

Video-Mediated Approaches for Community-Level Climate Adaptation Pablo Suarez, Fiona Ching, Gina Ziervogel, Isabelle Lemaire, Diane Turnquest, Janot Mendler de Suarez and Ben Wisner

Adaptive Social Protection: Synergies for Poverty Reduction Mark Davies, Bruce Guenther, Jennifer Leavy, Tom Mitchell and Thoms Tanner

Microfinance and Climate Change Adaptation Anne Hammill, Richard Matthew and Elissa McCarter

Climate Insurance for the Poor: Challenges for Targeting and Participation Rachele Pierro and Bina Desai

Defining a Future Research Agenda on Pro-Poor Adaptation Tom Mitchell and Thomas Tanner


Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

Rural Futures Cluster Lead

Martin Greeley

Research Fellow

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Publication details

published by
Tanner, T. and Mitchell, T.
Thomas Tanner and Thomas Mitchell
IDS Bulletin, volume 39, issue 4


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