Richard Smithers

Richard Smithers

Richard Smithers

Technical Director – Climate Adaptation Lead

Richard has worked in the environmental sector for 35 years and led or provided expert input to projects regarding more than 30 countries. He has wide-ranging experience of: evidence and policy development; policy, programme and technical monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment; systematic rapid evidence assessment; natural resource management, and stakeholder involvement.

Since 1998, many of Richard’s projects have directly related to climate adaptation. He led development of Palestine’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP), which was only the sixth country to have one. Providing expert input to development of the first EU Adaptation Strategy, he subsequently directed its evaluation, and supported development of the current Strategy. He also led assessment of climate vulnerabilities to target natural resources management for the World's largest public works programme (MGNREGS in India).

Richard has helped many countries assess co-benefits and trade-offs between climate adaptation and mitigation, and developed adaptation elements of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Drawing on that background, he co-authored the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) Quick Start Guide on Planning for NDC Implementation and, for the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), led development of international guidance to governments on linking NAP processes and NDCs. He is subsequently helping countries to develop adaptation-orientated NDC implementation plans. Currently, he is also Ricardo’s Research Director for UK Government’s Climate Services for a Net Zero Resilient World.

Richard has been an expert reviewer of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports since 2012. He publishes regularly, including in Nature and Science, and has authored more than 100 governmental reports.