Capability statement

Climate change adaptation - building capacity for a climate resilient future

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Supporting countries in national adaptation planning for a climate-resilient future

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Nidhi Mittal

01235 753265

Climate resilience and adaptation

The world’s climate is changing. The impacts are being felt across the globe and in all areas of development, from human health and livelihoods to food, energy and water systems.

Global institutions, governments and communities must respond to the challenge by understanding their vulnerabilities, designing effective adaptation programmes, attracting climate finance and monitoring the effectiveness of implementation. Preparing for climate change means making informed decisions to build resilience now and plan for the future.

For more than 10 years, Ricardo Energy & Environment has been helping its clients adapt to a changing climate. We helped make the UK a world leader in adaptation planning and are long-standing advisors to the European Commission. We are now delivering a wide range of services to clients like the World Bank, UNDP, DFID and GIZ in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and South and South East Asia.

We fully understand the relationship between climate change research, adaptation policy and sustainable development, and our experts have extensive knowledge of working across all three areas. Our expertise helps international organisations and funders to integrate climate change into development programming. We empower cities to become more resilient. We build the evidence for concerted climate action.

Our services

Ricardo Energy & Environment provides a wide range of climate resilience and adaptation services:

  • Climate impacts, vulnerability and risk assessments to support adaptation policy and planning
  • Technical and economic analysis underpinning adaptation planning, including costing and appraising adaptation options
  • Designing monitoring & evaluation (M&E) plans, developing indicators and compliance with international reporting obligations
  • Knowledge management: coordinating, communicating and sharing knowledge
  • Designing climate finance systems for donors and international finance institutions, mobilising finance for adaptation and tracking flows
  • Training policymakers and practitioners, engaging with stakeholders and building capacity
  • Managing adaptation programmes and grants
  • Integrating climate resilience and adaptation into sectoral policy for water, biodiversity, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, air quality and smart cities


 Selected project experience

Country Level Impacts of Climate Change (UNEP)

The objective of the Country Level Impacts of Climate Change (CLICC) project is to facilitate global understanding of country-level impacts to support action on climate change. For this UNEP-UK initiative, Ricardo is working closely with the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA) to develop a common process for countries to present the impacts of climate change at the national level. Download the CLICC project sheet  or visit the CLICC website


National adaptation planning in Palestine (UNDP)

Ricardo Energy & Environment assessed the climate change vulnerability of Palestine and identified adaptation options in order to prepare the Vulnerability and Adaptation chapter of Palestine’s Initial National Communication Report to the UNFCCC. It will form the basis of the National Adaptation Plan.

Climate change will add to the vulnerability of the Palestinian people, exacerbating the pressing challenges of water supply, food security and human health. Ricardo guided local stakeholder through the national adaptation planning process and analysed the climate resilience of 12 sectors. Capacity building training will help the Palestinian Authority to mainstream climate change adaptation.


South Africa Climate Change Response Monitoring & Evaluation System (GIZ)

‘You can't manage what you can't measure.’ Ricardo Energy & Environment have designed a comprehensive approach for tracking the transition to a low-carbon and resilient South Africa.

As part of this, the Climate Resilience and Adaptation Team developed a national adaptation monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system, bringing together existing datasets and new indicators to comprehensively map climate impacts vulnerability and actions. The M&E system will allow South Africa to understand the impacts of climate change and to improve the effectiveness of its national adaptation plans.



Development of Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) - Support to the Government of Zambia

We provided Zambia’s Government with an economic analysis of the costs of implementing the adaptation component of its INDC. Our assessment covered recent planning outputs and economic analyses across seven sectors key to its adaptation planning: agriculture, water, forestry, energy, wildlife, infrastructure and health. This included direct detailed interviews with key stakeholders in Lusaka. We also provided support to the Zambian Government in representing the conclusions of the INDC Adaptation work at UNFCCC COP21 Paris Climate Conference and subsequent follow up in 2016.

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Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Mid-Term Review

The Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Programme is a seven-year, £40.5 million investment funded by the UK Government. Its work is focused in Africa, Asia and South America with the goal to ensure that, in developing countries, ecosystems are being sustainably managed in ways that contribute to poverty alleviation and inclusive, sustainable growth. Ricardo Energy & Environment undertook an independent, external mid-term review with the aim of: providing assurance that aims and objectives to date were being realised; assessing scientific quality and impact; assessing the Programme’s added value; identifying changes/improvements going forward; and understanding the Programme’s ability to respond to new challenges and emerging risks in a changing context. The work included the analysis of the scientific quality of the programme’s academic outputs and field visits to ESPA projects in Nepal and Bangladesh. The review formed the basis of recommendations on how to shape the Programme’s future direction.

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Preparedness, adaptation and risk (PREPARE)

Ricardo Energy & Environment undertook a programme of research for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on preparedness, adaptation and risk (PREPARE). This was to support the UK Government in developing its strategy on adaptation policy, and in particular its statutory programme of climate adaptation policies laid in Parliament in 2013 under the Climate Change Act. The objectives of the PREPARE research programme included improving understanding of the barriers and enablers to organizational and sectoral adaptive capacity in the UK and investigating the climate risk resilience and adaptation expectations of the public. PREPARE also sought to identify the contribution and role of household level adaptation, and to explore the overall equity and distributional impacts of climate change risks and adaptation options in the UK. “We were very pleased to have led this important and complex programme of research for Defra,” said adaptation knowledge leader Lisa Horrocks.



Training and capacity building programme for country climate change negotiators

CDKN commissioned Ricardo Energy & Environment and UNITAR to deliver a programme of training and capacity building for climate change negotiators from developing countries. The project included workshops emphasizing the topics in which developing countries have more interest like adaptation and adaptation finance. The programme was designed to raise awareness of the UNFCCC process and history of the negotiations, build capacity on negotiation skills and to explore key agenda points of relevance to target countries including their likely treatment in the new climate agreement under negotiation. During the first year the project has an e-learning course, face-to-face pre-COP workshops in Doha and in-country workshop in Sudan. The second year of the project builds on the findings of the first year to enhancing developing countries’ ability to participate and influence the negotiations delivering face-to face training in Colombia, Ethiopia and also in Peru.