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Title: Senior Research Fellow
Role: Theme leader, Reducing Climate Risk
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Richard Klein is a senior research fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute, and leader of the SEI research theme Reducing Climate Risk.
An internationally leading expert in the science and policy of adaptation to climate change and trained as a geographer, Dr Klein has more than twenty years of experience in original research, science assessment and policy advice. Since 2010 he also holds a part-time position as adjunct professor at Linköping University, where he contributes to the development of the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research.
Much of Dr Klein’s current activities address the role of adaptation in the design and implementation of a global climate policy agreement. He focuses on the generation, delivery and use of financial resources for adaptation in developing countries; the integration (‘mainstreaming’) of adaptation and development policy; and the involvement of non-state actors in reducing people’s vulnerability and advancing adaptation. He is one of the initiators of AdaptationWatch: an international alliance to promote transparency and accountability in the governance and use of international adaptation finance.
But Dr Klein’s work also concerns social and institutional adaptation in Sweden and other European countries. He is co-director and chief scientist of the Nordic Centre of Excellence for Strategic Adaptation Research (NORD-STAR), which has been established by the Top-Level Research Initiative of the Nordic Council of Ministers. NORD-STAR is a collaborative effort of SEI, Linköping University and eight other institutes in the five Nordic countries.
Before joining SEI in 2006, Dr Klein spent almost eight years at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, where he was group leader and deputy head of the department of Global Change and Social Systems. He led the award-winning interdisciplinary programme Environmental Vulnerability Assessment (EVA) and initiated the research activity Formal Approaches to Vulnerability Assessment that Inform Adaptation (FAVAIA). He began his career at the Institute for Environmental Studies of the VU University in Amsterdam in 1992.
Since 1994 Dr Klein has contributed as lead author to six reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), of which three times as coordinating lead author. He remains the youngest first-listed author of an IPCC chapter, a mark he set when appointed coordinating lead author in 1997. He also contributed to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, and Tony Blair’s initiative ‘Breaking the Climate Deadlock.’ Since 2010 he has been a member of the scientific steering committee of PROVIA, the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation.
Dr Klein has been a principal investigator in a series of large international collaborative research and capacity-building projects. In addition, he has advised a wide range of governments, international agencies, non-governmental organizations and private companies. He was one of the initiators of the IPCC workshop on Adaptation in Costa Rica in 1998, and organized the seminal Potsdam workshop on Climate Change, Adaptive Capacity and Development in 2001. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the academic journal Climate and Development, which first appeared in 2009.
Dr Klein holds degrees from universities in three countries. He received a PhD (magna cum laude) in environmental geography from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, and MSc degrees (both with distinction) in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, and quaternary geology from the VU University in Amsterdam. To date he has published over one hundred journal articles, book chapters and reports, edited two books and two journal special issues, and contributed to numerous national and international workshops and conferences.
Clarifying vulnerability definitions and assessments using formalisation (Journal article - 2013)
Climate Change Adaptation in the Nordic Countries (Paper - 2013)
Limits to adaptation (Journal article - 2013)
Managing the risks: international level and integration across scales (Book chapter - 2012)
Reducing Climate Risk Factsheet (Fact sheet - 2011)