Mainstreaming climate compatible development


The purpose of this e-book is to synthesise lessons from the first five years’ work of CDKN – the Climate and Development Knowledge Network. Established in 2010, CDKN has funded research, policy advice and knowledge programmes, globally and in more than 70 countries. It has also supported negotiators and negotiating groups in different regions.

The book is written for policy-makers at all levels. It has been prepared by CDKN’s experts and programme managers. However, it is backed up by the published work of dozens of independent analysts and researchers, drawn from CDKN’s global network. Their work is linked throughout the text.

The guiding idea of CDKN since its inception has been ‘climate compatible development’. This is the idea that tackling climate change cannot be at the expense of reducing poverty and achieving human development. Indeed, synergies must be found wherever possible. The idea of climate compatible development is intuitively attractive, and has gained widespread traction since we first proposed it in 2010. It is now an idea that has become central to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The global goals are transformative in scope precisely because they require action on climate change to be mainstreamed in all aspects of development work.

CDKN’s work demonstrates that climate compatible development offers great potential for strategic innovation by governments, civil society and the private sector. There are many win-win benefits as new technologies are disseminated and as new investments are made to boost resilience. Those opportunities and benefits are explored in the text. No-one should pretend, however, that achieving climate compatible development will be friction free. We have seen that there are inevitably choices to make, trade-offs to consider and political battles to win. There are also leadership and management challenges aplenty as finance is raised and programmes scaled up. Much of the analysis in the book, and many of the cases, deal with these questions – offering not just a diagnosis of problems, but also stories of change which can inspire and inform action elsewhere.


CDKN. Mainstreaming Climate Compatible Development. CDKN, London, UK (2015)

Mainstreaming climate compatible development

Published 1 January 2015