Development Futures in the Context of Climate Change: Challenging the Present and Learning from the Past
Article first published online: 9 OCT 2009
© The Authors 2009. Journal compilation © 2009 Overseas Development Institute.
Development Policy Review
Special Issue: Development futures in a changing climate
Volume 27, Issue 6, pages 741–765, November 2009
How to Cite
Brooks, N., Grist, N. and Brown, K. (2009), Development Futures in the Context of Climate Change: Challenging the Present and Learning from the Past. Development Policy Review, 27: 741–765. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7679.2009.00468.x
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 9 OCT 2009
- first submitted February 2009 final revision accepted June 2009
- Development model;
- climate change;
- development futures;
Climate change poses a challenge to the dominant development paradigm with its concepts of modernisation, economic growth and globalisation which treat the environment as an externality and largely ignore climate variability. This article explores the extent of the challenge, drawing on archaeological evidence showing that adaptation to severe climate change can involve much more radical changes in human societies than are currently envisaged. Furthermore, short-term adaptation can result in long-term maladaptation, increasing vulnerability to climate shocks. The article argues that development urgently needs to shift its focus away from prevailing growth and yield-maximisation models towards alternatives encouraging resilience and risk-spreading.