Development and Climate Days 2021

Date: Tuesday, 9 November and Wednesday, 10 November 2021
Where: Online
Development and Climate Days 2021 logo

The 2021 Development and Climate Days logo (Image: D&C Days)

Development and Climate Days 2021 took place on 9 and 10 November, and saw grassroots representatives, researchers, development practitioners and policymakers from all over the world discuss how to build a climate-resilient future for all.

Development and Climate Days (D&C Days) 2021 was held during the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 9-10 November 2021.

This two-day digital event spanned multiple time zones and was the most inclusive D&C Days event yet, with almost 1,500 participants having registered, a record number. We brought together 806 grassroots representatives, researchers, development practitioners and policymakers from 127 countries to discuss how to work together to build a climate-resilient future for all.

D&C Days provided a space for networking and exchange, and for honest and open discussions on cutting edge climate work with the goal of enhancing understanding of climate risk and creating accessible and actionable strategies for climate resilience.

D&C Days 2021 – moving to a new format

D&C Days 2021 was a two-day digital conference that brought together participants from all over the world to connect via our bespoke event platform. Our aim was to create a digital space that allows participants to continue to harness these connections, expand their knowledge and continue to be a place to think out of the box.

Key messages and themes

D&C Days in 2021 focused on five ‘evidenced themes’ that we have been building on since 2019. These themes provided the backbone to the programme, with conference sessions strategically linked to one or more of the following. The themes were: 

  1. Building resilient agriculture and food systems
  2. Early warning, early action to leave no one behind
  3. Financing a resilient future
  4. Establishing resilient cities and infrastructure, and
  5. Working with nature to build resilience.

Themes: five pathways to a climate-resilient future

  1. Building resilient agriculture and food systems (led by FAO/GRP)

Transformative actions are urgently needed within agriculture and food systems to tackle the colliding climate, biodiversity, pandemic and food crises. From smallholders to large agri-food businesses, field to fork, climate resilience actions must be just and include the entire food value chain.

This theme explored food governance, locally-led climate and nature-friendly solutions, access to climate finance for the most vulnerable, and risk management capacities for building climate-resilient agriculture and food systems.

  1. Early warning, early action to leave no one behind (led by RCCC)

Early warning early action (EWEA) is key to reducing the impacts of natural hazards, weather extremes and climate change more generally.

Recognising that too many people are left behind by global, national and subnational efforts to build EWEA systems, this theme explored how we can improve the framing, governance, financing and flexibility of EWEA to build equitable and effective disaster risk reduction locally and at scale.

  1. Financing a resilient future (led by IIED)

Climate finance must address the demands of poor women and men at the frontline of climate impacts. This theme examined this demand side local focus combined with the need for a supply of climate finance provided by a combination of external financing, including debt restructuring linked to climate, as well as domestic public finance and private finance.

We brought together key stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector and international organisations to make commitments on how they can together finance a climate-resilient future.  

  1. Establishing resilient cities and infrastructure (led by IIED)

For the first time in the history of the planet most of the world is urban and cities are at high risk of experiencing the impacts of climate change. 

Sessions in this theme examined how different shocks and stresses, such as those from COVID-19, and climate interact, showcased ways of forging novel partnerships and collaborations for enhancing resilience, and demonstrated innovative approaches for supporting adaptation to extreme heat – a major hazard increasingly impacting our cities.

  1. Working with nature to build resilience (led by IIED/IFRC)

This theme explored the importance of working with nature to build resilience now and in the future, in the face of climate change.

As support for and uptake of nature-based solutions in climate policy and practice grows, we looked at widely shared challenges and opportunities faced by local organisations working in forest and farm landscapes to strengthen resilience, and specific contexts of climate-related hazards, such as droughts and floods.