Large investments in extractive industries such as oil, gas and mining have the potential to be a springboard for development, but these investments often have been a source of corruption, social degradation, resource dependency and environmental catastrophe. How can resource-rich countries faced with this double-edged sword make informed decisions about how to effectively leverage these resources? An executive training program coming in June at Columbia University will be tackling this question.
On Dec. 3, kick off the holiday giving season by supporting the Earth Institute on the second annual #GivingTuesday. Giving Tuesday is an initiative of the UN Foundation and the 92nd Street Y that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday and unites the global giving community in a day of giving back.
With the end of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure drawing near, many are speculating which of his policies will survive the next administration. New York City’s comprehensive environmental plan, PlaNYC 2030: A Greener, Greater New York, has been championed politically by Bloomberg, but is grounded in science and data, and performance management. It has demonstrated progress, achieving multiple goals for the city, making it appealing to any administration. On Oct. 22, we hosted an event where we posed the question “Is Sustainability Sustainable?” to our guest experts, Rit Aggarwala and Sergej Mahnovski. The answer is simply that it needs to be.
The Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development is building a sustainable development program to provide policy support for the government of Myanmar, local NGOs and the donor community, accelerating growth that is both socially inclusive, sustainable and mindful of climate risks and opportunities. This video explains the project.
Cities already lead the action on responding to climate change. And cities are utilizing groups such as the Urban Climate Change Research Network to share lessons from implementation and scholarly research on urban climate change.
“The gains in fighting poverty, and indeed generations of economic gains, are at serious threat of reversal unless deep structural crises of rising social inequality and rapid environmental degradation are finally addressed.”
After working in tropical forests and coastal areas throughout college and graduate school, Manhattan did not seem like a natural place to migrate after completing my PhD. But pursuing an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship was was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Earth Institute scientists across many disciplines are playing key roles in helping New York move forward following Hurricane Sandy. Many were already advising the city about the potential effects of sea-level rise, storm surge, climate change and related issues before the storm hit, For better or worse, their predictions were vindicated, and they now continue efforts to help make infrastructure and population more resilient and sustainable.
Shortly after Hurricane Sandy, Columbia University convened a forum featuring faculty researchers from The Earth Institute, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the Mailman School of Public Health, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of International and Public Affairs. This university-wide conversation, co-sponsored by The Earth Institute, Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, and World Leaders Forum, brought together just a few of the many Columbia researchers whose interdisciplinary work is adding to our understanding of the risks facing coastal communities, including New York City and its suburbs.