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The Lessons of the past- an archaeologist looks at ancient climate change Looking at the responses of human societies to climate change since the end of the Ice Age, we can discern major changes in our vulnerability to such events as drought cycles, major rainfall shifts, and El Nines. This increased vulnerability has a direct relationship to increasing population densities, the growth of urbanization, and the difficulties involved in governing ever more complex societies. Examples from ancient human societies in different parts of the world abound, although many details of their adaptations await further research. For tens of thousands of years, Homo sapiens lived by hunting and gathering, in small bands constantly on the move. Drought and other climatic shifts required effortless adaptation, through movement close to permanent water sources. We see the same strategy still practiced by Australian Aborigines.


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This study investigates the usefulness of rice husk as an alternative fuel for household energy. The work included an analysis of the production of rice in Perú, visits to the productive zones, evaluation of rice husk, development and test of rice husk briquettes and the stoves that use them as fuel.



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Urbanization and climate change will define much of the 21st century. Urbanization leads to improvement in standards of living, and through the increased density and service delivery efficiency of cities, higher growth can be achieved with lower greenhouse gas emissions. Cities and urban agglomerations house more than 50% percent of the global population and contribute more than 70 percent of global greenhouse (GHG) emissions. As the share of urban population grows, sustainable urban development emerges as an essential component in addressing climate change. Mitigation often comes at a significant cost. Carbon finance has an important role to play in reducing these costs. Carbon finance is accessible through regulated mechanisms, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation ( JI) under the Kyoto Protocol, and through voluntary markets, using the Voluntary Carbon Standard and climate exchanges. City authorities, however, have not been able to fully access market mechanisms for carbon credits. Less than 1% of projects registered with the CDM are credited to cities.


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The politics of climate Change: 1.5 or 2 degrees?

Global climate change is everyone's business and it implications are increasingly recognized by all countries. But it is being debated from two very different perspectives, with far reaching political and economic effects. On one side, we have the industrialized nations. On the other, we have developing nations. Their very different perspectives can be seen in the debate over the global target for the regulation of rising global temperatures.

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Managing Climate Extremes and Disasters in the Agriculture Sector: 

Lessons from the IPCC SREX report

A changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, and duration of weather and climate events, and can result in unprecedented extremes, both through slow onset disasters (e.g. consecutive years of drought) and extreme events (e.g. heavy flooding). Many such events will have a direct impact on agricultural systems now and in the future, including through increased length, frequency and/or intensity of heatwaves, increased frequency of heavy precipitation in many regions, intensified droughts across some areas, upward trends in extreme coastal high water levels, and changes in flood patterns. Crops, livestock, and people will all be affected.

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Challenges for Climate Compatible Development

Annual Review 2008-09

With climate change rapidly engulfing our planet, LEAD Pakistan has doubled its efforts to advocate and propagate its repercussions and the possible ways to cope with it. The last few years of LEAD's experience have been marked by a growing focus on understanding and addressing climate change. Given LEAD's historical interest in promoting environmentally sensitive development and the fact that the Pakistan program is based in one of the global warming hotspot, it is easy to understand the cause of this attention. Pakistan is challenged by the climate change issues in more ways than one adverse consequences of global warming in the form of increasing aridity, energy shortages and declining agricultural productivity are likely to combine with flagging development indicators, socio­political turmoil and weak coping capacities to translate into a major catastrophe for the country.


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How to win the argument on climate change: A Five Point Plan

March 2014

Why we need a plan to win the argument on climate change?

Tackling climate change is tough. It often feels like we take two steps forward and one step back. Every now and then a tragic event like Typhoon Haiyan dominates the news bulletins and people make a link between climate change and the frequency or severity of natural disasters. The severe winter of January 2014, with exceptionally cold conditions in North America and extensive floods in the United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere in Europe, may also have had this effect. But then we go back to normal, arguing about who will do what, and the fine detail of taxes, subsidies or regulations.

That is not surprising. All policies have winners and losers. Look at Germany’s industry, where people are worried about high energy prices caused by the Energiewende, the transition to renewables. Or Australian electors, apparently so opposed to a carbon tax that they voted out the government of Kevin Rudd. Or talk to citizens in the UK, campaigning vehemently against wind farms, hydraulic fracturing (known as ‘fracking’) for gas, or a rise in energy prices.

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Close to home: subnational strategies for climate compatible development

April 2014

The battle for climate compatible development will be won or lost at the subnational level: in provinces, districts and cities. National governments depend on subnational actors to implement climate policies. What is more, innovation in climate compatible development can flourish at the subnational level when the appropriate legal and policy conditions are created.

Climate compatible development at the subnational level is characterised by distinct challenges:

  • Subnational institutions and leaders face intense local pressure to act on the negative impacts of climate extremes and disasters.
  • People's expectations for subnational authorities to respond may be out of sync with the powers and resources they have available.
  • Higher levels of scientific uncertainty about future climate trends at the local level (than at larger scale) can make it difficult to know if investments are 'climate-proof'.
  • Different subnational governments and agencies may struggle to coordinate with each other, making it harder to respond effectively to climate change and forge long-term solutions.
  • The scale and pace of urbanisation in many developing countries, including unplanned settlements and the informal economy, magnify these challenges.


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Innovation for Climate -Compatible development for the ‘bottom of the pyramid’

Policy brief March 2013

Essentially, significant parts of the world’s population continue to lack access to modern and clean forms of energy, with concomitant human, social, and economic costs for this group. While technology is often seen as key to addressing this challenge, translating this potential contribution into reality is complicated by the complexity of the problem and the relative paucity of the available resources. This policy brief will discuss how to organize and advance technological innovation – and key aspects of innovation policies – to contribute to climate-compatible development for the ‘bottom of the pyramid,’ drawing on lessons and experiences from the literature as well as two specific application areas, household energy and rural electricity. Basically, deployment of suitable technologies at large scale requires that close attention be paid to technology development/adaptation to ensure that the resulting technologies and products seen by users as offering useful services and at a price point that they (or the agencies supporting the deployment of these technologies) can afford. Innovative models, such as innovation prizes or advanced market commitments, may complement traditional ‘R&D’ push approaches to the development of such technology.


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A Global-to-Local Modelling Approach

Land Use, Food Security, and Climate Change in Vietnam

Policy Brief, September 2012

Socio-economic development, land use, climate change and food security are all interconnected at different scales. This study uses a novel global-to-local approach that combines an economic (Computable General Equilibrium or CGE) model with a spatially explicit land use model to capture change at the global, national and landscape level for the period 2010-2030 under three scenarios.


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