Understanding inequalities in the decision-making processes is essential for designing more inclusive policies and actions. This research, therefore, investigates the relationship between multi-dimensional inequalities on climate policy outcomes. By using an actor-centric perspective on the governance of problems, the aim is to understand how certain (climate) policy problems gain priority over others.

The key research questions

  • How do multi-dimensional inequalities within African democracies shape climate policy outcomes?
  • Who makes a problem a climate public policy issue, and for what purposes? 
  • Who benefits and who is left out from specific climate policy processes that address these problems?


The research is structured by:

  1. Reviewing the literature on linkages between social inequalities and (climate) policy outcomes.
  2. Identifying the policy arenas related to climate change and socio- economic development and mapping the key distributional mechanisms of climate change policies.
  3. Identifying policy networks which include political actors and the coalitions they shape to pursue their interests. The analysis of discourse networks identifies policy debate and distributional conflicts that emerge from specific climate actions, social and economic policies.
  4. Assessing the coherence across the national and regional development plans, energy plans, nationally determined contributions, and national plans towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 (no poverty); SDG 5 (gender equality); SDG 7 (access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all); SDG 10 (reduced inequality) and SDG 13 (climate action).

Links to other project research themes

This research theme links up with all the other research areas:


  • Alina Averchenkova, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Michael Boulle, University of Cape Town
  • Jacob Dodoo, University of Ghana 
  • Murray Leibbrandt, University of Cape Tow
  • Andrew Marquard, University of Cape Town
  • Adelina Mensah, University of Ghana
  • George Outa, University of Nairobi
  • Britta Rennkamp (team leader), University of Cape Town
  • Mike Savage, London School of Economics and Political Science