In this article, the authors propose a new political economy of climate change and development in which explicit attention is given to the way that ideas, power and resources are conceptualised, negotiated and implemented by different groups at different scales. The climate change and development interface warrants such attention because of its importance to achieving sustainable poverty reduction outcomes, cross-sectoral nature, urgency and rapid emergence of international resource transfers, initiatives and governance architectures, and the frequent assumption of linear policymaking and apolitical, techno-managerial solutions to the climate change challenge.