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Richard J.T. Klein

Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Geography, Climate Policy and Development, Stockholm Environment Institute

Richard J.T. Klein is a senior research fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and professor of geography, climate policy and development at Linköping University. As member of SEI’s Global Research Committee he assumes global leadership for developing and implementing the institute’s research strategy on climate-related issues. Based in Bonn since 2016, he also works to strengthen SEI’s visibility and impact in Germany, including by developing collaborative partnerships with research organisations, policy stakeholders and funders.

Richard is an internationally leading expert on the science and policy of adaptation to climate change, with more than twenty-five years of experience in original research, science assessment and policy advice. Much of his recent work has addressed the role of adaptation in the design and implementation of a global climate policy agreement, but he also studies societal and institutional challenges to adaptation and to the provision and use of climate services. He has led a range of large international collaborative research and capacity-building projects and programmes, and has advised governments, international agencies, civil-society organisations and private firms. In 2016, Richard received the prestigious Burtoni Award in recognition of his work on climate change adaptation.

Richard is the founder and editor-in-chief of the academic journal Climate and Development, which first appeared in 2009. He is also a member of the editorial board of the new journal Climate Services. He served as chief scientist, co-director and director of the Nordic Centre of Excellence for Strategic Adaptation Research (NORD-STAR), and he was a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA). Richard has been an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1994.

Before joining SEI in 2006, Richard spent almost eight years at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He began his career at the Institute for Environmental Studies of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam in 1992. He has a PhD in geography from the University of Kiel (Germany), and Master’s degrees from the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands).


  • 2010–present
    Professor of geography, climate policy and development, Linköping University
  • 2006–present
    Senior research fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute
  • 1999–2006
    Senior researcher and deputy department head, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • 1992–1998
    Research associate and senior research associate, Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


2016 Burtoni Award for excellence in climate adaptation research