These research projects are finding ways to adapt to a heating planet

Climate change is making the planet hotter. We’ve awarded £17.5 million to research teams around the world who are investigating ways we can adapt.

An ariel photo shows a series of large, shallow, half moon-shaped holes being dug into a plain of dry red soil. A few green trees are scattered across the plain, and a small group of people are clustered around a few of the holes.

The half-moon bunds restore grazing land by capturing rainwater and preventing erosion. This type of micro-catchment water harvesting technique is suitable for slopes up to 15% and makes moisture available for vegetation for longer.


The LEAD Foundation

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These research projects are finding ways to adapt to a heating planet
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Even in the best-case scenarios of climate change our world is getting hotter.  

This is already having a significant impact on people’s health and it’s only going to get worse. 

We need to act quickly to reduce global emissions and to limit any further impact of global warming. However, finding ways to adapt to a heating planet is just as important for protecting the people and communities most vulnerable to climate change. 

That’s why we’re supporting research teams to investigate different ways to manage and limit the health effects of heat in the communities that need it most.

Finding ways to adapt to global warming 

We need interventions that work in real settings – not just under laboratory conditions. 

From cool roofs in India to tree-planting in Tanzania, this funding will support teams to find practical solutions that are acceptable and affordable in the locations for which they are intended. 

Led by researchers from low- or middle-income countries, each project will develop methods for testing and evaluating heat adaptation interventions across a variety of outcomes like health, equity and gender impacts. 

We also want to produce evidence for policymakers and practitioners to help them understand the impact of climate change and demonstrate which interventions are relevant to the local context, scalable, implementable and sustainable in the long run.

Funding for heat adaptation research 

Through our Heat adaptation: evaluating interventions to help manage the health effects of heat funding scheme, we’re providing £17.5 million of support for research in 11 countries. 

By the end of the 5-year award, these projects will have delivered a high-quality study testing and evaluating a new or existing heat adaptation intervention with the potential to change policy and practice in low- or middle-income countries.

There is currently very little evidence on the impacts on health of climate change adaptation actions. This means that communities, cities and governments are designing and delivering climate change adaptations without understanding their wider implications especially for public health. We are really delighted to support these important evaluations that will start to build the critical evidence needed to ensure that future decisions can protect the health of their populations.

Alan Dangour

Director of Climate and Health


Find out more about each research project:

We know that climate change threatens human health at almost every level. 

But there are gaps in scientific understanding of these impacts and a lack of consensus on the most effective ways to protect people's health as the world continues to warm. 

That’s why Wellcome is funding a transformation in the scale of research into the impacts of climate change on human health. However, understanding the risks is not enough – it's crucial that this evidence can then be used to advocate for changes in policy and practice around the world. 

This funding will begin to fill some of these gaps and provide practical, effective solutions for the people that need them most urgently.