Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scenarios for low-income countries in a climate-changing world


The future climate for development - using the scenarios The future climate for development is designed as a practical tool for anyone who has a stake in the future of low-income countries, including NGOs, businesses, policy makers and low-income country governments.

In four detailed, plausible but very different scenarios for the world of 2030 it explores how climate change will transform low-income countries, socially, economically and politically. You can find out more here.

The future climate for development scenarios can be used to:
•  ‘future-proof’ current strategies, and prioritise areas for work;
•  generate new ideas for future strategy or policy;
•  look for opportunities for collaborative working; and
•  create a vision of a preferred future
Reversal of Fortunes is a world where many of the low-income countries of the 2010s have rapidly developed – mostly on carbon-intensive pathways – and are now middle-income.  But a stronger voice on the world stage is not enough to grant immunity from the impacts of a world urgently decarbonising its economy: these new emerging economies are the least resilient and are suffering the most.
View Animation or Download


Age of Opportunity is a world in which cultural confidence in low-income countries is high. They play a growing role in the world economy and are spearheading a low-carbon energy revolution, leapfrogging the old high-carbon technologies in pursuit of a prosperous and clean future.
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Age of opportunity:

Coping Alone is a world in which low-income countries feel increasingly abandoned by a global community preoccupied with high oil prices, economic stagnation and simmering conflict. Regional blocs now focus on their own concerns, such as food security, resource shortages and adapting to climate change.
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The Greater Good is a world where people understand that economies rely fundamentally on access to natural resources – and climate change is seen as the ultimate resource crunch. States manage natural resources pragmatically to give the greatest good for the greatest number. Those low-income countries with natural resources prosper; those without have little bargaining power.
View Animation or Download

    We have created a variety of materials to help you make the most out of the scenarios:
 A slide pack provides a brief overview of the scenarios, why they were created and how they can be used. It includes notes pages if these are required by a presenter, and can be used to introduce a workshop, or just to give people an overview of the work. A downloadable workshop agenda offers a range of options which you can pick and choose from in order to apply the scenarios to fit your specific goals, the time you have avaliable and the people in the room. Scenario animations. We've brought each of the four scenarios to life in a vivid, four minute animation. They're a powerful tool to engage people with the issues and get them ready to discuss how they affect your organisation. Posters of the scenarios give an easily accessible overview of the main points and characteristics of the scenarios, perfect for use in a workshop. If you’re interested in the relationships and assumptions that underpin the four scenarios, then you can examine our cross-impact matrix. If you want to build on the scenarios yourselves – or vary some of the parameters – then this is a good place to start. The full report contains full details of the scenarios and how they were constructed, the conclusions we draw from them and specific recommendations for development agencies. The executive summary gives a good overview.

    Scenarios are widely used to improve planning and decision making.

  • They help deal with uncertainty. Strategies often fail because they bet on the wrong future. But there is no ‘one future’.  Scenarios acknowledge this, exploring realistic possibilities based on trend research and expert opinion, to allow organisations to make more resilient plans. They ask the crucial 'what if...?' questions that make organisations better prepared to mitigate the risks and seize the opportunities presented by a changing world.

  • They make the connections between diverse issues clear. Scenarios are broad-ranging in nature and make links between different topics that might not normally be recognised.  They enable holistic thinking, ensuring that decisions are not made in a departmental silo.

  • They promote long-term planning. Short-term gains often come at long-term expense. Scenarios help lift people out of the day-to-day, and allow them to engage with the fundamental issues that may be facing their work over the coming decades.  This kind of approach is vital if work is to deliver long-term value rather than just ‘quick-fixes’.
They are also a great way of engaging with this agenda, if you just want to start thinking about how climate change and development interact, and what this might look like in the future. 
For more information, PowerPoint slides, or advice on how you could use the scenarios, please contact Jemima Jewell.

The future climate for development presents four vivid scenarios exploring how low-income countries could respond to climate change over the next 20 years. They have been brought to life in four short animations.

The scenarios look at the profound social, economic, political and psychological changes climate change may bring as well as its environmental impacts. They are designed as a practical tool for anyone concerned with the future of low-income countries. Click here for more information on the project or download the report for more detail on each scenario and how they were constructed.

The animations are also available to be downloaded and used on third party websites provided they are used with full credits and not edited in any way.