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Walker Institute Annual Lecture 2012

“Climate change and development in Africa”

by Professor Christopher Whitty, Department for International Development

Many of the world’s poorest communities are already vulnerable to climate and weather extremes and climate change is increasing these risks. Africa is likely to see some of the greatest impacts from climate change, but there is currently considerable uncertainty on where they will occur, the impact on development and the best solutions. There is a need both to find ways to improve resilience to the effects of climate change as part of adaptation to inevitable changes, and to allow a low-carbon growth path which does not slow the trajectory of development in African countries. This is taking place on a background of rapid social change.

Chris will discuss some of these complexities, showing that there are solutions to some of the challenges across a range of disciples, with particular emphasis on the effects on health. Clearly a whole range of research disciplines are relevant from physical to social. He will highlight some of the major knowledge gaps and discuss how we can maximise the impact of multi-disciplinary research on policy and practice in what is one of the most difficult development challenges we face.

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