Capacity Building to Deal With Climate Challenges Today and in the Future
Journal of Environment and Development, March 2012
Maria Damon, Gunnar Köhlin, Thomas Sterner, and Martine Visser
Climate change represents a serious threat to the economic growth potential in low income countries. Instead of investing in growth, they may be drawn into strife and conflict. Climate change and the global politics to deal with it, could however also present a number of interesting opportunities for developing countries. Such opportunities may arise in sustainable forestry, new forms of solar, wind or bioenergy and related industries, agriculture or in the programs for abatement and mitigation that are likely to be created. It is an important priority for low-income countries to develop local knowledge and understanding concerning climate change in order to better prepare for both the costs and challenges posed by climate change, as well as to defend their national interests and participate in international negotiations. Creating academic capacity is however a long and painstaking process. We discuss a number of existing initiatives but conclude that more is needed, particularly at the higher level of PhD studies.