The paper discusses how the current climate change debate influences the way in which development is conceptualised, negotiated and implemented. The objective of the article is to explore some of the underlying controversies that characterise development discourses in the context of climate change. Adaptation to climate change goes along with a significant shift in discourses used to deal with what is normally called development. This is reflected in shifting research interests and perspectives, from vulnerability studies to resilience thinking. However, the paper argues, this shift is problematic for the normative contents of development and especially for a pro-poor and grass roots perspective.