Image adapted from Zadek, 2009, and informal communication with staff from the UK Department for International Development
Climate compatible development (CCD) is low carbon, climate resilient development. The concept has been developed in recognition of the urgent need for adaptation, given current climate variability and the severity of projected climate impacts that will affect the region; and the need to reduce emissions as rapidly as possible to avoid more catastrophic climate change in the future. Thus while CCD can be framed in different ways, given nationally and locally specific development trajectories, it does require that current and future climate risks are mainstreamed into development, and that both adaptation and mitigation are integral goals of development, as indicated by the figure above. In the southern African context, poverty reduction would be a desired co-benefit. Uncertainties in major drivers of change, including climate, socio-economic and political risks, necessitate that CCD be viewed as an iterative process, in which vulnerability identification and risk reduction responses are revised on the basis of continuing learning. Climate compatible development opens up new opportunities for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, teaching and engagement with communities, policy makers and practitioners.