Climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, action is needed to reduce global carbon emissions to net-zero by the middle of this century. Whilst Covid-19 has led to temporary reductions in emissions, the wider economic and social impacts of the pandemic risk slowing down or derailing action on climate change.
Many countries have taken unprecedented action to deal with the immediate impacts of Covid-19 on the health of their citizens and on their economies. It has been argued widely that this action should not only deal with short term impacts. It should also support investment in the low carbon technologies, infrastructures and jobs that will be required to tackle climate change.
This project focuses on the opportunities for integrating economic recovery and climate change policies in Ghana and Zambia. A research team from the UK, Ghana and Zambia is working with governments and other stakeholders to develop detailed plans to achieve this. The project will:
- understand drivers, challenges and opportunities for integration;
- investigate options for change;
- support the development and implementation of policies; and
- build capacity through training programmes.
The project is using participatory scenario development methodology that combines stakeholder engagement, qualitative storylines, modelling and policy analysis. It has four main components. The first is mapping the policy and societal landscape, understanding how this has changed due to Covid-19, and examining climate and development plans that are already being developed. The second is developing participatory scenarios that explore plausible pathways for a clean, resilient recovery. This is being carried out iteratively with a third research task which is quantifying these pathways using open-source models of energy systems and land use. The fourth component is developing policy responses and supporting their implementation. This will include: policy recommendations to support energy access and job creation; address the financial impacts of Covid-19 on energy companies and consumers; and support investment in energy efficiency, low carbon energy generation and nature based solutions.
The project includes continuous engagement with policy and other stakeholders to maximise tangible impacts on decision-making – including on revisions to national climate change plans. Longer-term impacts will be enhanced through capacity building activities including one-week training courses in Ghana and Zambia, and an online short course.
The project is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund and the Newton Fund via the UKRI Collective Fund.