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Climate, Energy, and Environment

CGD explores the role and impact of climate finance and broader economic policy in assisting developing countries.

The effects of climate change are already being seen throughout the world, and it is clear that a fundamental change in the world’s economy will be needed if the planet is to survive. Lower income countries will be among those most affected by climate change; yet they have contributed least to global emissions, with the poorest 52 countries, home to 1.4bn people contributing less than 2% of global emissions.

Alongside the climate challenge, around half of the population in Least Developed Countries lacked access to electricity in 2018, with over 500 million people lacking any access to power in Africa alone. Most of those living in rural areas of low-income countries still derive their living from agriculture where the sector accounts for over 30% of GDP. Environment and development interventions often have synergies but can also face trade-offs.

As the world adjusts to a new climate reality, CGD experts are exploring the role climate finance and wider economic policy can have in assisting developing countries to adapt to whatever economic order may emerge. How can higher income countries and international financial institutions best support developing countries confronting the challenges of climate change? How can the COVID-19 recovery support the changes needed for long-term resilience and sustainability?

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Atousa Tahmasebi