While mitigation efforts in developed and emerging economies are necessary in order to meet ambitious climate targets, the international community strives to explore strategies to help the most vulnerable populations to cope with the short-term and long-term impacts of climate change. In the perspective of the 21st COP of the UNFCCC (Paris, December 2015), this Special Issue on ‘Climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing and transition countries’ addresses two complementary topical issues. On the one hand, migration – international and internal – and remittances are analyzed as adaptation strategies for vulnerable households and individuals. On the other hand, climate policies in emerging economies are examined in light of their distributional impacts for households and of the strategic issues they may raise. This special issue introduces five papers with a diversity of approaches, e.g., game theory, econometric modeling and computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling.