The International Research Institute for Climate and Society and its partners work in some of the most impoverished areas of the world to increase food security, decrease vulnerability to disasters and predict outbreaks of diseases such as malaria.
The 2015 Paris Climate Summit » Page 2
While national governments can set goals for combating climate change, many of the decisions that lead to action will come from business leaders. The new Columbia Center for Climate and Life helps them build from a foundation of science.
“Future extremes are going to occur more and more frequently. In planning, we don’t need to plan for the 2 degree warming that we are aiming for as a globe, we need to plan for the 10 degree increase in a day, or the year when there’s no water.”
The impacts of climate change are being felt around the world, but the changes in the polar regions have been more pronounced. The world began to take notice to these changes when an ice shelf roughly the size of Rhode Island collapsed into the ocean in 2002.
Millions of people living in cities around the world already feel the impacts of climate change: Heat waves, flooded streets, landslides and storms. All of these affect important infrastructure such as transportation and water supplies, ports and commerce, public health and people’s daily lives. And it is cities that are at the forefront of the response.
As a nation still in its developing phase, with 1.25 billion citizens and counting, India can’t afford to forego even part of its industrial progress. But we also cannot go on developing without taking into account the emissions produced by industries that are major contributors to global warming.
The most important issue is whether countries will achieve their 2030 targets in a way that helps them to get to zero emissions by 2070. If they merely pursue measures aimed at reducing emissions in the short term, they risk locking their economies into high levels of emissions after 2030. The critical issue, in short, is not 2030, but what happens afterward.
Wondering what’s going on in Paris? And why you should care? A team of young people working on climate issues from many perspectives—policy, science, media, activism—have created Climate Countdown, a video web series that follows the people who are crafting paths toward a meaningful climate agreement at the Paris climate summit.
Students from 28 masters in development practice programs, including the Earth Institute’s Masters in Public Administration-Development Practice at Columbia, are participating in various ways at the climate talks in Paris.
People often ask certain tough questions about climate change— about the costs of cutting carbon emissions, the feasibility of transitioning to renewable energy, and whether it’s already too late to do anything about climate change. Laura Segafredo, manager of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, answers these questions.