We design, implement, and evaluate climate change and disaster management policies, analyse the costs of inaction, and provide training in related fields.
Adaptation and resilience
Climate change presents a fundamental challenge to poor countries, given their high exposure to climate impacts and low capacity to adapt. The climate change trajectories that are already locked in threaten to stall or roll back the development gains made over the last fifty years.
We work with governments and communities to research, design, and deliver approaches to climate change adaptation and resilience. Our CPGD/Action on Climate Today programme works with five South Asian governments to mainstream climate adaptation into processes of planning and budgeting. In Nepal, we have supported local governance of climate adaptation through the design of the Nepal Climate Change Support Programme Phase II. We also led cutting-edge research into the impacts of the 2015-6 El Niño event upon the most vulnerable households and children in Ethiopia.
We have strong capabilities in water resource management, in light of the stresses caused by climate change. We have conducted an economic analysis of climate adaptation options in DFID’s water programmes in three countries, and assessed climate finance flows to the water sector. In the ACT programme, we support policy innovations for incentivising water efficiency, reducing land degradation and increasing water availability, and integrating water-agriculture nexus issues into overarching policy.
Mitigation and low-carbon growth
A low-carbon growth model is essential if countries are to meet the twin challenges of improving human welfare and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. Many ‘must-win’ opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions are in emerging economies, as they rapidly scale up building construction, transport systems, and power plants. Installing low-carbon infrastructure at the outset is cheaper than retrofitting. Moreover, it has been estimated that emissions from agriculture, forestry, and land use – the majority of which occur in developing countries – represent a substantial proportion of the most cost-effective emission abatement opportunities globally up to 2030.
We have a wealth of experience supporting policymakers to make informed decisions around low-carbon growth strategies. The Low-Carbon Support programme with the Indonesian Ministry of Finance generated numerous fiscal and regulatory actions to incentivise renewable energy. The Applied Research Programme on Energy and Economic Growth brings researchers, policymakers, and private sector together to address the challenges of designing large-scale energy systems in low-income countries. The Multi-Stakeholder Forestry Programme Phase III in Indonesia supports development of sustainable forest-based production and governance systems.
Recent decades have witnessed a marked increase in the number and severity of natural disasters. Going forward, the incidence, severity, and impact of natural disasters is expected to further increase, placing greater demands on humanitarian responses and relief efforts across a range of scales. The need for efficient response mechanisms and insightful approaches to identifying, assessing, and reducing the risks of disasters have led to the inclusion of disasters in the UN’s post-2015 development framework.
We have extensive experience in the design, review, and implementation of effective policies, strategies, and plans for reducing and managing disaster risk. We have diverse projects in this area, including flood management, vulnerability assessment, early warning, emergency cash-transfers, and disaster insurance. For example, we conducted a two-year research programme on improving the effectiveness of disaster risk management (DRM) capacity building at local and national levels, with the findings published in the World Disasters Report. We are also currently conducting a ten year evaluation of the African Risk Capacity, an innovative African Union initiative aimed at combining early warning, disaster risk management, and risk finance to create an African-owned, disaster response system that enables African governments to better meet the needs of people at risk of disasters.