Rosina Bierbaum, Chair of the Scientific and Advisory Panel of the Global Environmental Facility and Professor at the University of Michigan, delivered a compelling talk titled “Past is Not Prologue: How Climate Change Alters Development Prospects” at the annual Frederick S. Pardee Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday April 30th, 2014.
Prof. Bierbaum discussed the serious implications of climate change on global development prospects, noting in particular the important role of the World Bank and other financial institutions in supporting adaptation and mitigation initiatives that allow governments and populations to “act now, act together, and act differently”. She argued that while growth must continue in the developing world to pull the poorest populations out of poverty, policies that promote climate smart landscapes, sustainable food production, and increased innovation could help minimize the impacts of a changing climate.
Prof. Bierbaum has a distinguished career at the intersection of science and policy, and her experience extends from climate science into foreign relations and international development. She serves on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, is a lead author of the U.S. National Climate Assessment, and an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank. She served for two decades in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, and ran the first Environment Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from 1995 – 2001. She also served for 10 years (2001 – 2011) as Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, and she remains a Professor and Dean Emerita with appointments in both the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the School of Public Health. She was selected by the World Bank to co-direct its prestigious World Development Report 2010, which focused on climate change and development.
A video of Prof. Bierbaum’s lecture is available on the Multimedia Page of our website.