Overcoming Poverty with Climate Actions

That the impacts of climate change will unduly affect the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world is well established. Climate change is embedded within the same complex and interconnected socio-economic, political, technological, industrial and environmental systems as poverty and inequality. 


In an unequal world, what does the imperative to mitigate and adapt to climate change mean and for whom? 

How can actions on climate change be orientated to minimise harm to poor people?

What is the role of powerful institutions and governments?

Is success enhanced if it also yields co-benefits for poverty and inequality?


We build understanding about how actions on climate change interrelate and interact with the multiple dimensions of poverty and inequality within and between nations, including definitions, concepts and measurements of absolute and relative poverty, poverty of access and opportunity, and socio-economic well-being. 


We also seek to explore areas and sectors where the synergies are not so readily identifiable. This includes the more difficult decisions on trade-offs between climate change mitigation and adaption and different dimensions of poverty and inequality.

We recognise and interrogate different scales and explore why some visions have traction and others do not.

How can actions to address the causes and impacts of climate change incorporate the multiple dimensions of poverty and inequality, and vice versa?

In what ways and under which circumstances do climate change, poverty and inequality interact?

What are the structural and systemic barriers and enablers that facilitate or undermine effective work and comprehensive understanding of poverty and climate change actions, and how can these be overcome?


In all our choice of methods, co-production is the central element of our work to ensure it meets the needs of different communities and perspectives, with particular attention to vulnerable and marginalised who are often excluded from decisions. 


We employ a variety of theoretical approaches and methodologies building out from our core expertise in the social and natural sciences and drawing in other disciplines. Systematic theoretical approaches will be developed to map climate actions to the Sustainable Development Goals to understand key synergies and trade-offs. 


We use political economy approaches, including in the energy, forestry and agricultural sectors, to understand how decisions are made and influenced to create knowledge on the political barriers to the success of technical climate actions. 


Empirically our work draws extensively on our existing case studies and use a variety of methods including scenario development and visioning, discourse and social network analysis, as well as quantitative methods:

What are the trade-offs between addressing climate change and poverty and how can they be addressed?

The need for transformative change in society, politics and the economy is increasingly recognised as necessary to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change. 

What sort of transitions are required to address climate change and poverty, who wins and who loses and how can a just transition be enabled?

Addressing climate change, poverty and inequality requires new ideas about how society, the economy and politics work at the global and local levels. 

Whose and what visions of the future have traction, in which international, national and subnational contexts and why?


What dominant narratives exist in relation to addressing the impacts and causes of climate change and the multiple forms of poverty?


Our research practice and advocacy contribute to understanding how poverty, climate change and inequality interactfor greatest opportunity.