Christiana Figueres Lectures at UMass Boston
April 26, 2013  //  By:   //  Blog Post, Event, Featured  //  No Comment

On Wednesday, April 24th, at UMass Boston, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres gave a lecture on the future of climate change. As UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Ms. Figueres is the single most important person in the global fight against climate change. It is her job to coordinate the international response to climate change, to negotiate among the diverse nations of the world, and to find the compromises that ensure universal participation.

At UMass, Ms. Figueres spoke of the challenges she encounters in her day-to-day work, and she put those challenges in the context of the global efforts to combat climate change. In her words, climate change is “the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face.” And if the international community cannot come together to address climate change, “5 billion people will be catapulted into poverty.”

In addition to urging collective action on climate change, Ms. Figueres also pointed out several hopeful signs that, despite the bluster of some politicians, the world really is moving toward sustainability. For example, she pointed out that the small island nation of Tokelau, has created a 100% renewable energy economy. Additionally, the United States, despite being home to some very loud groups who deny climate change, is making strides in renewable energy. In 2012, 49% of all new energy resources in the United States came from wind and solar.

The presentation was the annual Slomoff Lecture Series at UMass Boston, and was streamed live on the web. Online viewers were able to tweet in any questions they had for Ms. Figueres. For anyone who missed the lecture, it will soon be posted on the McCormack Graduate School for Policy and Global Studies website. When the video becomes available, we will post the link on this blog.

About the Author :

Michael Denney is a PhD student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is a Research Associate at the Center for Governance and Sustainability.

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