Climate Research for Development (CR4D)

In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Special Report on the Implications of 1.5 degrees warming (SR 1.5), and shortly thereafter UN Environment published its 2018 Emissions Gap Report. The SR 1.5 concludes that the projected impacts of 2 degrees warming are more dangerous than initially thought and brings us closer to several critical tipping points. The report also cautions that we have only 12 years for drastic action if we are to have any chance of achieving the 1.5 degrees’ target. The UN Environment’s Emissions Gap Report establishes that, despite progress made in the global climate governance regime, greenhouse gas emissions are once again on the increase.

More than any other continent, Africa is already bearing the impact of the instability of the climate system as evidenced by increasingly unpredictable patterns of precipitation and high temperatures. These trends have devastating impacts on the continent’s economies, livelihoods and ecosystems. Drastic and urgent climate action is required to ensure that the continent does not experience worsening climate related devastation and retains some capacity to meet its development aspirations.  Drastic climate action will require the engagement of all sectors, interests and stakeholders. A key gap in climate policy and governance in Africa is the weak linkage between science and policy. This gap must be addressed urgently to ensure that development strategies, policies and programmes are climate informed.

The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS), the United Kindgoms’ Department for International Development (DFID) Weather and Climate information SERvices for Africa (WISER) programme and the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on 18 January 2019 announced the implementation of a multimillion dollar initiative to support Africa-led climate science research through the Climate Research for Development (CR4D) in Africa initiative. The CR4D initiative was conceptualized at the Africa Climate Conference in 2013 as a mechanism to strengthen links between climate science research and climate information needs to support development planning in Africa. The initiative addresses climate research priority areas that have been identified in Africa by African researchers.

Over the next year, CR4D will support research into identified priority areas for climate change and development linkages. The research will cover foundational climate science, impacts, information and research translation and engagement with policy and decision-making communities. The goal will be to produce research outputs that inform policy in climate sensitive sectors to better prepare Africa to deal with the impacts of climate change.

CR4D will award 1-year research grants to 15 African climate researchers of up to USD 130,000. Through The AAS Rising Research Leaders programme, grantees will be supported to develop as independent research leaders through training, mentoring, and networking opportunities that will enable international collaborations. CR4D candidates must be hosted by or affiliated with a university, research institute or other eligible institution of higher education in Africa. They must and hold a PhD in climate or related sciences and/or have a proven track record of high-quality, impactful research in a relevant field. Applicants must have a clearly defined scientific research proposal and all African nationals are eligible to apply.