Responding effectively to climate change requires assessing the impacts of climate policies. Whilst emissions reduction efforts can be measured through science-based metrics like degree centigrade or greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, adaptation and resilience occur in complex socio-ecological systems and in context-specific settings that do not easily lend themselves to standardised measurement. Timo Leiter’s PhD research therefore explores how progress on climate change adaptation can be assessed at global, national and sub-national level. He is drawing on multi-year participant observation at the UN climate change negotiations and on action research with government officials in the design of adaptation monitoring and evaluation systems. Timo’s timely research contributes to scholarship on global environmental governance, international negotiations, climate change adaptation and monitoring & evaluation (M&E).
Timo’s PhD research, his advisory and outreach activities seek to support climate action under the Paris Agreement, in particular the implementation of its transparency framework and the operationalisation of the Global Stocktake. Timo has also developed practical tools and guidance including:
- The Adaptation M&E Navigator to match M&E purposes with suitable methods and approaches
- A guidebook for the development of national adaptation M&E systems in collaboration with the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee and the LDC Expert Group
- The guidebook “Adaptation made to measure” for the design of climate adaptation projects and results-based monitoring systems
Timo is a frequent speaker at international conferences and UNFCCC events and has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters and policy briefs. Timo is the lead author of a background paper on adaptation metrics for the Global Commission on Adaptation and a lead author of UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report 2017. He also acts as referee for several peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Prior to joining the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Timo has been working for seven years at Germany’s agency for international development cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ). As part of its climate policy team, Timo has been advising the climate change units of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and of South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). As climate change focal point based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Timo led GIZ’s support to the Tanzanian government for the National Adaptation Plan process and was responsible for the delivery of climate adaptation, capacity building and climate finance readiness activities. Timo also led the development of innovative climate change projects including for the International Climate Initiative and for the Green Climate Fund, e.g. the project “Climate Services for Infrastructure Investments”, commissioned 2017 with a volume of €5,300,000.
Timo holds a five-year university degree (“Diplom-Ökonom”) in Ecological Economics and Sustainability Management from the University of Oldenburg, Germany and a Master’s degree with High Distinction from Bond University, Queensland, Australia. He has been awarded a PhD scholarship from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
- Climate change adaptation
- Climate policy
- Global Environmental Governance
- Climate resilient development
- Monitoring & Evaluation
Research - 2021
This study finds that more than 60% of countries that adopted a national adaptation plan (NAP) are not tracking its implementation. Read more
News - 2021
Climate policy has long been relegated to the sidelines in Tanzania. The late President's vision for economic growth can be achieved only if his successor puts Tanzania on a climate-resilient development pathway, argues Timo Leiter. Read more
Timo Leiter, a lead author on UNEP’s latest Adaptation Gap Report, explains why simplistic metrics are not meaningful in understanding global progress on adaptation and how this is being improved. Read more