Despite the inherently political nature of international negotiations on climate change, much of the theory, debate, evidence-gathering and implementation linking climate change and development assume a largely apolitical and linear policy process. As the issue continues to dominate agendas, it is timely to propose a new political economy of climate change and development in which explicit attention is given to the way that ideas, power and resources are conceptualised, negotiated and implemented by different groups at different scales.
We argue that in balancing effectiveness, efficiency and equity, climate change initiatives must explicitly recognise the political economy of their inputs, processes and outcomes. Political economy is defined here as the processes by which ideas, power and resources are conceptualised, negotiated and implemented by different groups at different scales. In applying this definition to climate change and development, we broaden the analysis from state-focused environmental politics to encompass interactions between the state, non-state actors. The growing importance of climate change in the development arena and the frequent assumption of linear policymaking and apolitical, techno-managerial solutions make the development of a new political economy emphasis vital to determining efficient, equitable and effective responses.