About 190 nations have gathered in Bali today to try and thrash out a new global pact to fight climate change by 2009. Droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels will inevitably hit the poor hardest and political will to tackle the issue has never been higher..

The Kyoto Protocol covers emission reduction commitments for developed countries over the period 2008–2012, and Australia’s new government has just, belatedly, signed up. But a new international climate change deal must be put in place in time to ensure that necessary action is undertaken immediately after 2012.

The IDS Climate Change and Disasters Group is attending the conference with a research agenda to advance. The group aim to support progress on political deals that are equitable, fair and supportive to those groups most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and to ensure low carbon emission pathways improve opportunities for development. Read what Merylyn Hedger, a member of the group has to say about Bali, and check out the IDS CLimate Change policy briefings.