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POLICY BRIEF: Climate change and poverty reduction

Climate change will make it increasingly difficult to achieve and sustain development goals. This is largely because climate effects on poverty remain poorly understood, and poverty reduction strategies do not adequately support climate resilience. Ensuring effective development in the face of climate change requires action on six fronts: investing in a stronger climate and poverty evidence base; applying the learning about development effectiveness to how we address adaptation needs; supporting nationally derived, integrated policies and programmes; including the climate-vulnerable poor in developing strategies; and identifying how mitigationMitigation refers to actions that reduce our contribution to the causes of climate change. This means reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), through energy efficiency and using alternative forms of transport and energy.(UKCIP) strategies can also reduce poverty and enable adaptation.

A new CDKN policy brief, Climate Change and Poverty Reduction by Simon Anderson of IIED, explores how climate change is making it increasingly difficult to achieve and sustain development goals. Anderson suggests some basic principles to guide policy-makers in locking in and achieving further development gains in a changing climate.

The report’s key messages are:

  • More variableStrictly, a fundamental property of a system (or model) that can take a range of possible values, determined by the values of other system variables and parameters, external inputs or boundary conditions. See also state variable. Driving or forcing variables link internal system variables to ... climates are making it harder for the poor to climb out and stay out of poverty.
  • Stronger evidence is required on how climate makes poverty harder to eradicate.
  • For development to be climate-resilient, policy instruments to reduce poverty and enable adaptation must be integrated, and designed in a way that includes the climate-vulnerable poor.
  • Identifying how mitigation strategies can also reduce poverty and support adaptation is an important part of climate-resilient development.

Image courtesy Centre for International Tropical AgricultureCultivation of the ground and harvesting of crops and handling of livestock, the primary function is the provision of food and feed..