COP22: Climate change and innovation

unfccc-logo-v2The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UNFCCC took place from 7-18 November 2016. Read research and opinion from STEPS on what happens next.

This year’s COP comes shortly after the Paris Agreement enters into force. The agreement aims to keep global temperature rise this century to under 2 degrees. Finance, technology and capacity building will all be important components in supporting developing and vulnerable countries to reach these goals.

COP22 takes place in Marrakech – drawing attention to the challenges and opportunities for African countries to join in efforts to respond to climate change. For pro-poor, sustainable change to happen, it will be crucial for developing countries in Africa and elsewhere to move from old models of technology transfer, towards building and nurturing innovation systems and capacities.


Climate change: from talk to action in challenging political times, Melissa Leach, 21 November 2016 (Institute of Development Studies blog)

Research highlights

Journal articles

Improving technology transfer through national systems of innovation: climate relevant innovation-system builders (CRIBs) by David Ockwell and Rob Byrne, Climate Policy

Beyond technology and finance: pay-as-you-go sustainable energy access and theories of social change by Paula Rolffs, David Ockwell and Rob Byrne, Environment and Planning A

The Politics of Sustainability and Development by Ian Scoones, Annual Review of Environment and Resources


Sustainable Energy for All cover adapting to climate change cover Carbon Politics cover

Book: Sustainable Energy for All

How innovation systems can help poor countries provide sustainable energy for all their citizens – drawing on new theoretical insights and empirical research on solar energy in Kenya.

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Book: Adapting to Climate Uncertainty in African Agriculture

This book by Stephen Whitfield examines the social, economic, political and climatic uncertainties that impact on smallholder agriculture in Africa and the range of solutions proposed.

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Book: Carbon Conflicts and Forest Landscapes in Africa

This book examines how carbon forestry projects in Sub-Saharan Africa are unfolding, their effects and who is winning or losing from them.

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Projects & themes

solar installation on a schoolProject: Pro-poor, low carbon development

What can those involved in climate innovation learn from the history of solar home systems in Kenya?

Theme: Innovation systems

CRIBs (Climate Related Innovation System Builders) could be a new way for the UN to help countries nurture low carbon innovation at a local and national level.

lcicProject: Low carbon innovation in China

The extent, nature and social implications of low-carbon transitions in China

Project: Political ecologies of carbon in Africa

How carbon trading, forestry and offset schemes work and affect people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Project: Uncertainty from below

How people in climate-vulnerable areas of India understand and respond to climate change