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Climate change policy papers

COP21 Paris Briefing

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Download COP21 Briefing (Spanish version)

This briefing presents our vision for the Paris Agreement. We address the essential outcomes for a universal climate change agreement. We are calling for the world leaders to signal a turning point in the global approach to climate action and to outline clearly the next steps for strengthening the climate regime.

Time for Climate Justice briefings

This series of briefing papers outlines Christian Aid’s position on various aspects of the global climate change agenda.

Using a climate justice perspective, they assess policy against ambition towards halting global climate change and achieving a fair outcome for developing countries.

Climate-resilient agriculture

Climate justice for all

Lima climate talks: the road to Paris

Inequality and urban climate resilience in Asia

Loss and damage: protecting the most vulnerable

The climate change and food nexus









> Download all of our climate justice briefings

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India’s triple challenge: growth, development and climate change

India’s goals for economic growth are ambitious; the Indian Government is aiming to achieve human development on a par with EU countries. There is also an intention to deliver ‘access to electricity for all’ in India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term in office.

In the context of the upcoming Paris climate negotiations at COP21, this report looks at how a fair global climate deal could be a catalyst for a rapid move towards sustainable development in India. We make the convincing case that moving to sustainable energy now could deliver India’s desired growth and development objectives.

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Ensuring sustainable growth for India in a fair global climate agreement

In December 2015, the nations of the world will negotiate a climate deal to take us into the 2020s. But India, still a developing country and with a population of 1.2 billion, emits large amounts of CO2.

This briefing outlines the role India can play in laying down the foundations of an agreement in which equity and sustainable development are to the fore.

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Climate resilient agriculture briefing

Although the planet currently produces enough food for 10 billion people, a combination of post-harvest losses, waste and overconsumption conspire to create 800 million malnourished people in developing countries.

Agriculture generates about 25% of greenhouse gases while degrading cropland, multiplying marine dead zones, contaminating freshwater supplies and eliminating much-needed agrobiodiversity. All of these leave smallscale farmers and pastoralists increasingly vulnerable to further loss of livelihood and food security.

A transformation from chemical input intensive to knowledge intensive climate resilient agriculture is needed. This will put farmers at the centre of inclusive research and advisory services that address their priorities, reversing the widespread degradation of land, soil and water resources, strengthening land tenure security to facilitate the longer-term investments required to build resilience and ensuring fairer access to markets to support economically-diversified, sustainable rural economies.

These approaches, which will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, need to be fully integrated into the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and UNFCCC climate agreements.

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Climate Justice for All: putting gender justice at the heart of the Paris climate change agreement

In the run-up to talks to agree a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a new global climate agreement in 2015, civil society organisations stress the need for solutions to climate disruption that are based on gender responsive policies, and for processes to adequately address the developmental and human rights impacts of climate change.

Understanding gender differentiated impacts of climate change – as well as the different roles women and men can play in responding to climate change – will be vital for successful responses.

Gender justice is therefore at the heart of achieving a climate change deal in 2015 that is fair and ambitious for all.

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Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)















How to Influence the National Debate

All countries have committed to agree a new climate agreement in Paris. Countries are now preparing their national offers. Each country has to put an offer before the Paris 2015 meeting.

For Christian Aid, this is an opportunity to shape the decisions about the future development and resilience of the countries where we operate.  This toolkit provides and approach on how we can engage on the INDC discussions at a national level.

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Energy for Development in South Asia: addressing energy inequality sustainably

While the environmental benefits of clean energy are a hot topic in climate change circles the social and economic benefits are less so, but when people are deprived of energy services, poverty and inequality are perpetuated enterprise development and markets are constrained.

Our new report explores how decentralised renewable energy technologies can help deliver energy to where it is most needed, contributing to human development, markets and job creation alongside a range of environmental benefits.

Focussing on South Asia where there are already many successful examples, it makes some recommendations to help scale up and disseminate these approaches.

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Low-Carbon Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evolution, experiences and challenges

It is time for Latin America and the Caribbean – a region on the front line of resource shortages and changing climates – to move towards a more sustainable, equitable development based on low-carbon energy.

This briefing highlights that the region’s development model, based on  extractive industries and agribusiness, is simply not conducive to low-carbon development or limiting the global increase in temperature to 2°C.

It sets out some policy recommendations to Latin American and Caribbean governments on the many opportunities to set the regional energy sector on a low-carbon trajectory, to inject investment in renewable energy and to set clear targets.

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Low-carbon development in South Asia: leapfrogging to a green future

As a result of recent economic growth and increased demand for energy, South Asia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are increasing annually. As economies continue to grow, the region is projected to become even more fossil-fuel dependent. Meanwhile, millions of people across the region remain in energy poverty.

The good news is that South Asia has great potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy. In terms of renewable energy, the subcontinent has vast potential to develop hydro, geothermal, wind, solar and tidal energy. This report demonstrates that, with international support, the South Asia region can move towards a low-carbon, renewable energy future, while delivering the energy needs of all.

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The right climate for development: why the SDGs must act on climate change

This joint-NGO report shows that climate change, poverty eradication and sustainable development cannot be tackled as separate entities. Climate change is rapidly becoming the greatest threat to poverty eradication, having an impact on many aspects of development and making existing gender and other inequalities worse. It is essential that the Sustainable Development Goals respond to this urgently.

Download: The right climate for development (PDF, 2mb)

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Paris 2015: getting a global agreement on climate change

At the Paris summit in December 2015, 196 countries will meet to sign a new climate change agreement.

But how likely is it that it will be meaningful and make a difference to climate action on the ground?

This joint-NGO publication gives a guide to the global deal and shows that an ambitious and fair deal is possible with the right political will.

Download Paris 2015: getting a global agrement on climate change (PDF, 0.4mb)

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Taken by Storm: responding to the impacts of climate change

This report shows the devastating ways climate change is affecting people across the world and forcing communities to change their ways of life.

Using personal stories from seven different countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Kenya, Malawi, El Salvador, Bolivia and the Philippines, the report reveals the stark reality of life amid climate chaos.

The report aims to illustrate the publication of the latest findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which outlines the physical and social impacts climate change is having on the planet.

Download Taken by Storm: responding to the impacts of climate change (PDF, 3.5mb)

Spanish version: Alcanzados por la tormenta (PDF, 2mb)

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Fair shares in a constrained world

Our report, 'Fair shares in a constrained world', sets out how we believe the global effort to tackle climate change should be divided up.

By measuring the contribution different countries have made to the climate problem, and analysing their capacity to tackle it, we make a bid to find a fair and ambitious solution.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clearer than ever that humanity is responsible for global warming.

It stressed that to have a decent chance of limiting the global temperature rise to less than 2°C, above which climate change is likely to have catastrophic consequences across the world, no more than 269 billion tonnes of carbon can be emitted by the end of the century.

The question at the heart of the impasse within the UN climate negotiations now is how to divide these emissions fairly between all countries.

We are calling for the UN, starting this November at the climate summit in Warsaw, on the road to Paris for the 2015 global agreement, to establish a clear process for equitable effort-sharing among all countries, rich and poor.

Download Fair shares in a constrained world (PDF, 2.5mb)

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Low-carbon Africa: Leapfrogging to a green future

Our report, Low-carbon Africa: Leapfrogging to a green future, makes the case that Africa is able to deliver clean and sustainable energy to millions of energy-poor people across the continent without increasing greenhouse gas emissions – and for this renewable power potential to drive a green economic expansion across the region.

An abundance of resources and its sustainable development ambitions give Africa a real advantage when it comes to renewable energy. With access to a ‘leapfrog fund’ from global mitigation finance, this could lay the ground for a low-carbon future.

Download our report and case studies  

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Healthy Harvests - the benefits of sustainable agriculture in Africa and Asia

In this report, Christian Aid calls on donors and national governments to increase their support for sustainable small-holder farming to avert rising hunger and poverty caused by climate change. 

The report documents how sustainable farming techniques have led to increased crop yields, incomes, food security, soil and water conservation, resilience to natural disasters and climate change, and community empowerment, and lower greenhouse gas emissions in Africa and South Asia.

Healthy Harvests report

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Energy for Our Common Future - civil society perspectives on the World Bank energy strategy review

Woman and child in a kitchen in Peru Chistian Aid and Aprodev have supported civil society organisations from India, South Africa, Bolivia and Peru to develop responses to the World Bank energy strategy review.

The project brings together their position papers, stories and alternative approaches to World Bank Group business as usual.

Although each is a direct response to the energy strategy review from a national or regional perspective, each also takes a wide look at local energy futures.

Energy briefing summary

Energy briefing: Bolivia

Energy briefing: India

Energy briefing: Peru

Energy briefing: South Africa  

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Climate Check: an analysis of the government's delivery of its low-carbon commitments (2011)

Co-authored by Christian Aid with Greenpeace, the Green Alliance, RSPB and WWF, this report is an assessment of the coalition's progress against the low-carbon commitments set out in its programme for government in May 2010.

The report assesses both the quality of the policies that underpin the government’s targets, and the timeliness of their delivery, finding that it is making moderate or no progess in 22 out of 29 .

Climate Check

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The Political Economy of Climate Finance (2010)

A report for Christian Aid by Lies Craeynest with input from Alison Doig.

The timeline for decision-making on climate finance up to 2013 is very tight. It can only met with renewed commitment to results all parties involved and a more open approach to all the finance options on the table.

This paper will analyse the political feasibility of delivering new sources of long term climate finance.

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Climate change and politics game - have go on this BBC game where you try and tackle climate change and remain popular with voters.  

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Shifting of goal posts: rural electrification in India (2010)

In this report commissioned by Christian Aid India, the Vasudha Foundation presents a clear analysis of the lack of progress in rural electrification across India. The report highlights the failure the conventional national grid approach to deliver reliable electricity supplies to rural people in India and presents a viable alternative approach using decentralised renewable power.

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Capturing India’s Carbon: The UK’s role in delivering low-carbon technology to India  (2009)

Our new report presents recommendations on how the CCS demonstrations in the UK and Europe can better support technology cooperation with India and other developing countries.

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Community answers to climate chaos: getting climate justice from the UNFCCC (2009)

Using examples of work taking place throughout the developing world, our report argues for a stronger role for civil society and community organisations in the global response to climate chaos, and the need for rich countries to foot the bill via a new funding body.

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Signposts to Copenhagen: Christian Aid briefings for the climate change negotiations (2009)

What must happen at Copenhagen in December 2009? How can we ensure the climate change agreement will benefit the poor and vulnerable and not just the wealthy and powerful?

This series of short briefing papers present what we believe are the top issues for COP 15 in Copenhagen.

View and download papers in the series:

1: Essential outcomes for a fair and effective climate agreement

2: Climate finance: why, who for, how much and where from?

3: The role of carbon markets in countering climate change

4: Adapting to disasters? Global deal must deliver to save lives

5: Climate debt and the call for justice

6: Integrating adaptation from local to national level

7: Put forest communities at heart of UNFCCC policy  

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Growing pains: the possibilities and problems of biofuels (2009)

Our report reveals how the current model of global biofuel production is threatening to worsen climate change and cause significant social and environmental problems - and proposes a new vision so they can be used to help end poverty.

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Setting the bar high at Poznan: Christian Aid's vision for urgent and equitable global action on climate change (2008)

This paper argues that negotiations at the 14th UNFCCC Conference of Parties must become more ambitious before they can provide a template for global action.   

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Countdown to Copenhagen: the race for climate justice in the UNFCCC talks (2008)

In the run up to the crucial Kyoto II talks taking place in Copenhagen in 2009, this paper considers how a fair and comprehensive international agreement is essential if developing nations are to continue to fight poverty.

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Truly inconvenient: tackling climate change and poverty at once (2007)

This report warns that industrialised nations must pay billions of pounds to help poorer countries tackle global warming if millions of people around the world are not to be consigned to endless poverty.

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Human tide: the real migration crisis (2007)

The Christian Aid Week Report 2007 predicts that at least one billion people will be forced from their homes between now and 2050 as the effects of climate change deepen an already burgeoning global migration crisis.

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Coming clean: revealing the UK's true carbon footprint (2007)

This report uncovers an extraordinary picture of a UK that has a far greater impact on global carbon emissions than the 2% the government declares.

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All creation groaning (2007)

This paper examines a theological approach to climate change.

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The climate of poverty: facts, fears and hope (2006)

This report examines some of the effects of climate change on the world's poorest communities.

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