This Working Paper on Climate Change is one of a series of 10 papers
published alongside DFID's Research Strategy 2008-2013. It
presents the case for DFID-funded research on Climate Change - drawing
on the responses given during a global consultation that DFID convened
in 2007 about its future research.
Climate change is one of the greatest threats to development and will
remain so for decades to come. Although there are significant gaps in
our understanding of regional impacts, it is clear that poor countries
will be affected first and worst and poor people will be most exposed
Both mitigation and adaptation are necessary, and on a global scale.
Adaptation research is needed to develop strategies to cope with the
climate change that the world is already committed to, based on past
emissions and future trajectories. Developing countries need assistance
to adapt to worsening droughts, crop failures, water shortages, rising
sea levels, more frequent and intense storms, and extinction of species.
Mitigation aims to stabilize CO2 levels below a threshold that reduces
the likelihood of abrupt climate change and lowers the need for
adaptation. Given the scale of the challenge, this will require a
substantial increase in public and private funding for energy technology
research, development and demonstration, and accessibility to developing
A new global deal is needed post-2012 to facilitate and accelerate
action to tackle climate change, one that all countries will sign up to
and implement. Part of this will involve adapting to climate change
impacts we are able to predict; the other part is building a low-carbon
global economy. Faster, wider, and more coordinated uptake of existing
and new strategies is needed, and policies will need to take account of
adaptation across different sectors and different population groups to
be most effective.
Climate change will continue to be a priority in the new Research
Strategy, with a view to DFID stepping up its work with other UK and
international partners to leverage world-class expertise and funding for
research to support developing countries in tackling climate change and
contributing to a low carbon global economy. Rapid expansion is proposed
to cover four new priority themes: Improving accessibility of climate
science, scenarios, and impacts and vulnerabilities at regional,
sub-regional, and national level, particularly in Africa; Embedding
climate change in international, regional and national policy frameworks
and overcoming obstacles to collective action; Expanding work on
adaptation to strengthen decision making and implementation of
adaptation options; and Investigating mitigation options and low carbon
This paper sets out: DFID's current research programmes on climate
change, the results of an extensive, 9-month consultation across DFID
and with our partners in the UK and in 7 countries, and for each of the
chosen themes, the current state of knowledge, why this issue is a
priority, and how DFID proposes to take forward research in this area.
DFID, London, UK, 24 pp.
DFID Research Strategy 2008-2013. Working Paper Series: Climate Change