Policy and Practice


Climate Change

“Equipping vulnerable people to adapt to a changing climate and creating the political will to support this transition”


Key Facts

  • Since 1990, the earth’s average temperature has increased by 0.8oC
  • Climate Change could roll back decades of development gains and push millions back into poverty
  • The solutions to climate change are already available and by acting today we’ll determine if we can keep the impacts of climate change manageable for future generations

Agenda for Change

Climate change affects everyone, but its effects are felt most by the world’s poorest and marginalised communities, who live in regions that are most susceptible to changes in the climate, and whose livelihoods are dependent on natural resources.

Climate change is perhaps the greatest threat to poverty eradication, having an impact on many aspects of development and making existing gender and other inequalities worse.  Climate change threatens to wipe out years of development progress and for the poorest and most vulnerable threatens their survival and way of life.

The climate change threat has been well documented most succinctly by the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) which is now widely accepted by political leaders in developing and developed countries.  But what this means in regards to action, the mitigation and adaptation options and the priorities for action are less clear, therefore we are working to ensure this change process delivers for the poorest.

Practical Action embeds climate change as a cross-cutting theme across our four universal goals. This work, in energy access, agriculture, disaster risk reduction and urban services, is climate smart and is designed to equip poor people to adapt to a changing climate and cope with severe weather events, while also capturing evidence and knowledge to generate the political will necessary to deliver this at scale.


Goals for Policy and Practice

  • We will put poor people central to the climate change agenda to ensure that mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage actions deliver for and do not compromise the development choices of the poorest.
  • In the countries where we are working we will explore the causal relationship between climate change and natural disasters to help people better cope with uncertainty and natural disasters.
  • We will understand the links between smallholder farmers, climate change and opportunities to benefit smallholder farming systems that address the climate challenges making markets work for poverty reduction, food security and environmental sustainability.
  • We aim to better understand climate change as a trigger for human migration. As climate stresses increase more people will choose short term temporary migration as well as permanent migration as a mitigation action.

Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) is seen by many as the answer to the impacts of climate change in developing countries and for poor people everywhere. CCA activities are complex and how the climate impacts will materialise are uncertain; thus CCA runs the risk of not achieving its intended objectives, but could also result in negative effects that might increase vulnerability in the long run. Technology justice will thus be central to our design and development of CCA approaches in partnership with climate impacted communities to ensure CCA delivers long term and reaches the poorest.

Flagship Projects

freak freezes

Surviving freak freezes

economic impacts of climate change

Economic Impacts of Climate Change

Nepal and Peru

Gender Equality and Climate Compatible Development


Key Climate Change Publications:


Making Climate Change Mitigation More Meaningful

The global energy system is the single largest contributor to climate change, and reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from energy is of paramount global importance to avoid...


The Right Climate for Development: why the SDGs must act on climate change

This briefing outlines the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Review (AR5) that climate change is already affecting poverty reduction and sustainable...


Why Technology Justice is Critical for the Climate Negotiations: delivering on loss and damage

In Paris in December 2015, national governments as parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will meet to negotiate a new climate agreement. One of the catalysts...


Climate change blog posts

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