Celebrating Professors Manuel Balán and Kazue Takamura

Climate and development research for an era of climate action


Peterson Hall Room 116, 3460 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0E6, CA

A guest lecture by Professor Blane Harvey of the Faculty of Education.


The urgency of climate change, particularly in vulnerable regions of the global South is prompting important shifts in how we conduct research on climate and development, and on what gets studied. International bodies like the United Nations are now calling for increased investment into collaborative, interdisciplinary and action-oriented research focused on near-term solutions. In many ways these calls seem timely and logical, but they also raise important questions:

- Are the systems that support research for development equipped to take on this evolving role?

- How do these shifts intersect with long-standing inequalities, knowledge hierarchies, and power dynamics between North and South?

- What does the emphasis on urgent and immediate manifestations of the climate crisis lead us to overlook?

This talk presents findings from a review of 30+ climate and development initiatives, and interviews with 40+ scholars and practitioners on climate change and international development. I look critically at the opportunities and the risks of the emerging “climate action” research agenda, and propose a number of ways the funding, design and conduct of research must evolve in the face of these global challenges.