Patrick Curran

Policy Analyst and Research Advisor to Professor Stern

Patrick joined the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in February 2016.


Before joining the Grantham Research Institute, Patrick worked at Camco Clean Energy (South Africa) supporting the development of climate change and energy policy in sub-Saharan Africa. His work included conducting research and advising government departments, public sector institutions, development finance institutions and private sector organizations to provide policy recommendations and evidence to support decision making.

During his time at Camco, Patrick worked on projects ranging from supporting energy and carbon policy development for the National Treasury, Department of Environmental Affairs, and Department of Science and Technology in South Africa, to the review of renewable energy policies and the design of renewable energy procurement mechanisms in the SADC region, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Uganda. Patrick has also worked at all scales of the public sector including providing support to local, national and regional bodies as well as explaining the implications to the private sector.

Patrick’s research interests lie in understanding how climate finance can be channeled to support public sector institutions and how it is used to create the enabling environment for climate change mitigation and adaption in developing countries. Patrick also has an interest around how renewable energy procurement mechanisms and carbon markets can be used to support sustainable development.

Patrick holds a Master of Science degree and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Environmental Science from Rhodes University, South Africa and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management: Public Sector Monitoring and Evaluation from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Policy publications  6 September, 2019

Cities, climate change and chronic heat exposure

Climate change will lead to increases in the occurrence of chronic heat exposure over longer durations and there is an urgent need to focus on managing the risks this poses, as well as the immediate risks from shorter-lived heat events. This policy brief looks at the problem with a focus on developing and emerging economies, and provides recommendations for action by government, utilities, property developers and investors, development support and finance organisations. read more »

Policy publications  26 June, 2019

Governance of climate change policy: A case study of South Africa

This report and accompanying 8-page brief examine some of the emerging challenges in climate governance in South Africa and potential solutions. The lessons identified are also relevant for other developing economies. read more »

Policy publications  13 June, 2019

Unlocking the strategic economic opportunity of clean and inclusive growth

Chapter in the Banque De France’s Financial Stability Review no. 23 – June 2019. read more »


Policy publications  17 October, 2018

Submission to the inquiry by the House of Commons Select Committee on International Development on: UK aid for combating climate change

This written evidence responds to four questions set by the UK House of Commons Select Committee on International Development inquiry into ‘UK aid for combating climate change’. read more »

Policy publications  30 August, 2018

Climate risks to hydropower supply in eastern and southern Africa

With substantial new hydropower generation planned for eastern and southern Africa, how can risks from rainfall variations and climate change be overcome to ensure reliable supply and socioeconomic development? This brief analyses the challenges and provides recommendations to policymakers, the energy sector and development partners. read more »

Policy publications  1 August, 2018

Policy coherence for sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa

Coherent, cross-sectoral approaches to policy development are essential to meeting the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals. Drawing on research from southern Africa, this brief makes recommendations for improving coherence, which is currently partial to weak across the region. read more »


Policy publications  20 November, 2017

Some key issues for reviews of the costs of low-carbon electricity generation in the UK

Ongoing concerns about the best policies to achieve affordability have led to three reviews: of energy costs, of the Levy Control Framework, and of carbon pricing. This paper draws on research findings and empirical evidence to identify key principles and issues that should be taken into account by the Government in relation to these separate but related reviews. read more »

Policy publications  7 August, 2017

China’s leadership in fostering and financing infrastructure investment for a sustainable and dynamic future

A previous draft of this report was published as a background paper submission to the China Development Forum 2017. An 8-page summary policy brief is also available.  Headline issue China … read more »

Policy publications  18 July, 2017

China’s leadership on sustainable infrastructure: lessons for the world

China is taking an active leadership role in a new global agenda that has sustainable infrastructure at its heart – an agenda that is starting to address the … read more »

More in policy publications

Commentary  26 June, 2019

Seizing the moment in South Africa: overcoming climate policy governance challenges

Climate policy has taken a particular hit during a 10-year period of political corruption and uncertainty in South Africa but now the country has a chance to get back on track, say the authors of this commentary. read more »

Commentary  17 June, 2019

Successful adaptation to climate change needs new blends of research approaches

Declan Conway and Patrick Curran use recent findings from research into different risk assessment approaches and adaptation planning in climate change ‘hotspots’ in Africa and Asia to show the value of hybrid methods for creating more sustainable adaptation strategies. read more »

Commentary  9 May, 2019

Responding with urgency: the role of UK aid in combating climate change

Patrick Curran considers the findings of a new parliamentary report on UK aid for combating climate change. read more »

Commentary  15 March, 2019

How ready is South Africa for a new fuel levy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

This June, South Africa’s much-delayed carbon tax is due to be implemented, to include a new levy on petrol and diesel. Patrick Curran contests that changing consumer behaviour and reducing emissions will be very difficult without investment in viable transport alternatives – and development of a wider suite of policies to cut emissions. read more »

In the news  20 February, 2019

South Africa set to introduce long-awaited carbon tax in June

New proposed carbon tax rate will need to be strengthened in order to meet country’s national & global climate change objectives says Patrick Curran. read more »


Commentary  19 December, 2018

Agreeing the Paris Rulebook: did COP24 deliver? Reflections from the Grantham Research Institute’s Post-COP event

Identifying progress within the annual round of international climate negotiations can be a challenging business. The sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention … read more »

In the news  7 December, 2018

El Nino is bringing drought threats for business in southern Africa

Reuters Foundation News, 7 December 2018

In the news  5 December, 2018

Small businesses in Africa will be on the frontline of climate change

The Conversation, 5 December 2018

Commentary  4 December, 2018

As Southern Africa faces new urban drought challenges, who is heeding the wake-up call?

The major disruption to urban water and hydroelectricity supplies caused by the conditions accompanying the 2015/16 El Niño in Southern Africa show that governments and businesses need to be more prepared for climatic extremes, argue the authors of this commentary. read more »

Commentary  24 October, 2018

As South Africa’s carbon tax is delayed again what is the story so far?

Patrick Curran reflects on a nine-year discussion about carbon pricing and carbon tax in South Africa as the country's government postpones the tax's implementation once again. read more »

Commentary  1 August, 2018

Without policy coherence achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be difficult

In July, representatives of 166 countries, civil society and international institutions gathered in New York for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HPLF). Their objective was to review progress … read more »

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