'Climate Policy: the world needs to prepare for a risky future' with Janos Pasztor

Past Event

19 June 2017, 6:15pm - 7:45pm

Seminar Room, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street, (Corner of Catte and Holywell Street), Oxford, OX1 3BD

This lecture is organised by the Oxford Geoengineering Programme and the Oxford Martin Net Zero Carbon Investment Initiative

Do the implementation challenges of the Paris Climate Agreement mean that we need to begin preparing either for how to cope with dangerous levels of climate change and/or for deliberate “geo-engineering” interventions to control global temperatures? If so, what are the risks of the different options, and how can today’s policy-makers, citizens and consumers best respond?

Janos Pasztor is the Executive Director of the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2), and former UN Assistant Secretary General for Climate Change during the negotiation of the Paris Climate Agreement. His presentation will be followed by responses from Professor David Karoly, University of Melbourne, currently an Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow, and Baroness Bryony Worthington, Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund Europe, and one of the key architects of the UK Climate Change Act.

About the speakers

Janos Pasztor is Carnegie Council Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2).

He has over 35 years of work experience in the areas of energy, environment, climate change, and sustainable development. Before taking up his current assignment he was UN assistant secretary-general for climate change in New York under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Earlier, he was acting executive director for conservation (2014) and policy and science director (2012-2014) at WWF International. He directed the UNSG’s Climate Change Support Team (2008-2010) and later was executive secretary of the UNSG’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (2010-2012). In 2007 he directed the Geneva-based UN Environment Management Group (EMG). During 1993-2006 he worked, and over time held many responsibilities at the Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), initially in Geneva and later in Bonn.

His other assignments included: in the Secretariat of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit ’92); Stockholm Environment Institute; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Secretariat of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission); the Beijer Institute; and the World Council of Churches.

He has BSc and MSc degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Professor David Karoly is a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of Melbourne. He is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and interannual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007, in several different roles, and was a Review Editor of the chapter 'Australasia' in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report released in 2014.

Professor Karoly will spend January to July 2017 as an Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow based within the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the School of Geography and the Environment. Professor Karoly will work in collaboration with the Oxford Martin Net Zero Carbon Investment Initiative and the Oxford Geoengineering Programme. He will also work with the ECI’s weather@home team on the evaluation of perturbed physics experiments for the standard experiment suite.

Baroness Worthington is the Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund Europe. She was appointed to the role in 2016 and is the first to hold this position for the European affiliate of the international nonprofit organisation, Environmental Defense Fund. Drawing from her varied experiences, Bryony elevates EDF’s voice in the European environmental debate and helps oversee our activities and partnerships in key countries.

Appointed as a life peer to the British Parliament’s House of Lords in 2011, she is a leading expert on climate change policy and carbon trading. She recently served as the Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change in the House of Lords, leading on two Energy Bills for the Shadow Ministerial team. When raised to the peerage one leading newspaper commented, “The House of Lords has become a greener and better place”.

It was in the mid-1990s, working for a conservation charity on new laws for wildlife protection, that Bryony became increasingly concerned by the issues associated with climate change. By 2000 she had moved to Friends of the Earth as a climate-change campaigner. In 2006, Bryony helped launch a Friends of the Earth campaign for a new legal climate framework, which led to her selection as a lead author on the United Kingdom’s Climate Change Act. She then moved on to Scottish and Southern Energy, one of the UK's largest energy companies, where she advised on sustainable energy policy. In 2008 Bryony then founded the Sandbag Climate Campaign, a group dedicated to scrutinising the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

She is also a trustee of UNICEF UK.