Paris talks have historic chance to include everyone in a fairer, greener future

Extreme poverty and climate change impacts, both already affecting millions of people worldwide, can be overcome by ambitious, climate-resilient development designed to tackle global inequality, say the organisations behind Development & Climate Days (D&C Days) – an issue at the very heart of this year’s critical UN climate change summit in Paris.
Press release, 26 November 2015

Organisers from the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the Red Cross, Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCCC) say the event reflects the importance of achieving an agreement on climate change that is equitable, as well as ambitious.

D&C Days will take place on 5-6 December in Paris, at L'Usine, during the middle weekend of COP21. The theme for this year's event is 'Zero poverty, zero emissions: tough talk on poverty and climate', and the Twitter hashtag is #DCdays.

High level speakers include Pa Ousman Jarju, The Gambia's Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources, Forestry, Parks and Wildlife; Simon Maxwell, executive chair of CDKN, and Mary Robinson, the first female President of Ireland, former UN high commissioner for human rights and president of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice.

Ari Huhtala, CDKN's deputy chief executive officer for policy and programme said: "Development & Climate Days 2015 will highlight the amazing work already being done on the frontlines of climate change in developing countries. The event will send a message to government ministers and climate negotiators in the second week of the Paris talks: 'local and national champions for climate compatible development are ready to scale up action – with the right political support'."

Dominique Charron, director of IDRC's agriculture and environment program, said: "Since 2006, IDRC has invested more than US$190 million in 150 climate resilience projects enabling experts in emerging economies to create knowledge that informs innovative, relevant solutions to address local impacts of climate change. This includes agricultural innovations that help smallholder farmers adapt practices, safeguarding critical food supplies and incomes."

Simon Anderson, head of IIED's Climate Change Group, said: "Economic growth inequalities limit people's ability to adapt to the effects of climate change, preventing the eradication of extreme poverty. We need to find more radical approaches to climate adaptation that tackle the root causes of poverty and climate vulnerability, which are far-reaching in terms of beneficiaries and far-sighted in pre-empting climate effects."

Ilmi Granoff, senior research fellow, ODI climate and environment, said: "The evidence is clear. Down one path, worsening climate impacts will draw hundreds of millions back into poverty. Some impacts are now inevitable and adaptation is necessary. Down the other path, low-carbon development – for all countries – toward efficient and thriving zero-emissions economies. This is our only option for sustained poverty reduction and climate sanity."

Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross, Red Crescent Climate Centre, said: "We will fail to eradicate poverty if we do not manage the rising impacts of climate extremes on the most vulnerable. Adaptation thus means anticipating extremes, incentivising early action, and building resilience in the face of rising risks and rising uncertainties."

D&C Days has been an established, innovative and widely-anticipated event at the annual UN climate talks for more than a decade and this year, will be held as an official COP side event.


For press interviews or arrangements for filming at Development & Climate Days 2015, contact:  

Jennifer Crago, senior communications manager, climate and environment, Overseas Development Institute – Tel: +44 (0)20 7922 0369; email: [email protected]

Please note that due to security restrictions, you must confirm your planned attendance to Jennifer before Tuesday, 1 December. We will no longer be able to accept any registrations on the door as in previous years.

Notes to editors

Development and Climate Days 2015 will convene representatives from government, civil society, the private sector, multilateral agencies, media outlets and more, to discuss issues such as:

  • Zero poverty, zero emissions: eradicating poverty and decarbonising development in the climate crisis
  • The coming energy transition
  • How can knowledge drive climate compatible development?  
  • Unlocking the economic potential of livestock systems: climate resilience for Africa’s arid and semi-arid lands
  • Radical Adaptation – far-reaching and far-sighted
  • Exciting opportunities, unresolved questions for achieving zero-zero
  • Success of climate and development – adaptation in LDCs

Other highlights include: a session on innovative food security (prepare your mind and taste buds to be challenged), lightning talks, climate finance game, knowledge brokering sessions, networking and learning away from the intensity of the negotiations.

Google Maps venue finder link for L'Usine:  

More information on the organisations behind Development & Climate Days 2015:

The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) works to change the quality of life for people most challenged by the effects of climate change. CDKN supports decision-makers in government, the private and non-governmental sectors at national, regional and global level, in designing and delivering climate compatible development. We do this by combining research, advisory services and knowledge-sharing in support of locally-owned and managed policy processes.

Part of Canada's foreign affairs and development efforts, IDRC invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, IDRC builds leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive large-scale positive change. 

IIED is a policy and action research organisation promoting sustainable development and linking local priorities to global challenges. We are based in London and work on five continents with some of the world's most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them – from village councils to international conventions.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is the UK's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Our mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. We do this by locking together high quality applied research, practical policy advice, and policy-focused dissemination and debate.   

The Climate Centre, a public benefit organisation under Netherlands law, is a specialist reference centre of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Our mission is to help the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and its partners reduce the impacts of climate change and extreme-weather events on vulnerable people.

For more information or to request an interview, contact Simon Cullen: 
+44 7503 643332 or [email protected]