Abstract: We live in a world where the risks from a changing climate are clear. New research highlights the magnitude of the risks and the benefits of rapid, ambitious action. We also live in a world where the technologies for addressing climate change, for limiting the amount of climate change that occurs and for dealing as effectively as possible with the changes that cannot be avoided, are increasingly mature, affordable, and rich with co-benefits. In many ways and in many places, progress in deploying solutions is dramatic. But worldwide, progress is much slower than it needs to be, if we are to avoid the worst impacts. We need to find a global accelerator pedal for climate solutions. Key enablers include steps to level the economic playing field, government investments to drive down the costs and risks of technology solutions, and novel mechanisms to spur international collaboration.
Speaker Bio: Chris Field is the Perry L. McCarty Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies. His research focuses on climate change, ranging from work on improving climate models, to prospects for renewable energy systems, to community organizations that can minimize the risk of a tragedy of the commons. Field was the founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology, a position he held from 2002 to 2016. He was co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from 2008-2015, where he led the effort on the IPCC Special Report on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (2012) and the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2014) on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. His widely cited work has earned many recognitions, including election to the US National Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Research Award, and the Roger Revelle Medal.