Reality Check

Uganda's Economic Development: The Challenges and Opportunities of Climate Change

Reality Check 6

This 6th edition of the Reality Check analyses the link between climate change and economic development in Uganda. It explains how climate change and economic development are linked, while focusing on the challenges and opportunities arising from a more integrated approach.


​​​​​​​Climate is a key determinant of the status of Uganda’s natural resources, such as agriculture, forestry, water resources and wildlife, and therefore also a highly relevant factor for the country’s economic development potential. The unpredictability of the climate, captured in the broadest sense in the concept of climate change, is increasingly considered as one of the greatest challenges facing the world’s environment, society and economy today. It is increasingly regarded not only as an environmental or intergenerational sustainability issue, but also as an economic development concern. Thus, managing climate change is an essential step to be taken to enable inclusive economic growth, poverty reduction, and development in the long run.

Climate change in Uganda is manifesting itself through frequent extreme weather events such as drought, floods, landslides and storms. This is posing a serious threat to the country’s natural resources and socio-economic development. The most dominant impact attributed to climate change in Uganda is the increased occurrence of droughts that severely harm the mostly rural and agriculturally dependent population. However, mitigation against practices that are detrimental to the environment is usually to economic disadvantages such as a reduction in short-term profits or specific costs being generated to introduce environmentally friendly practices. This short-term connection is often the reason why policies in the area of climate protection are only poorly implemented and lack the necessary political will to be realised. This short term view, however, fails to appreciate the fact that long- and even mid-term consequences make immediate action towards the integration of climate concerns in economic policies and practices much more worthwhile by creating increased income in the long run and averting the complete depletion and loss of key natural resources.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) recognises the impacts of climate change and the quest for sustainable growth as one of the most crucial challenges worldwide. As a political foundation, KAS supports the development of policies that aim at addressing these challenges and finding solutions in order to link the two factors in a fruitful and sustainable way.

This publication aims to provide the prerequisites for just that: an in-depth analysis of the complex connection between economic growth and the environment. By offering an extensive background and analysis of the current status of development, climate change, climate sensitive interventions and their impact in Uganda, a basis is formed for further debate and discussion. With this publication, we wish to enhance the public, academic and political discourse on the topic and thus hope to contribute to respective policies in Uganda.


You can download the whole report as pdf.

Contact Person

Verena Kasirye

Verena Kasirye

Programme Officer +256 312 262 011/2

About this series

The series analyses developmental challenges in the political, social and economic sphere in Uganda. The editions examine hot topics of the daily political agenda and undertake a rigorous reality check. Reality Check is published in cooperation with Centre for Development Alternatives.

Ordering Information


Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V.


978 9970 477 00 5