Reviewing the Paris Climate Agreement and the Future of Climate Change
January 26th, 2016
In the December 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) held in Paris, France, 195 participating countries arrived at an agreement to combat climate change. Many praise the Paris Agreement as a turning point in international efforts to reduce global warming and its effects through curbing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the vulnerabilities of developing countries. Arriving at a common goal to hold temperatures to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels” is cited as a historic component of the agreement. Others are more critical, arguing that the agreement comes too late and highlighting the fact that there are no penalties or binding clauses for countries that do not meet their commitments.
On January 26, join the World Affairs Council for an event to review the Paris Agreement, the implementation process, and the agreement's role in combating climate change. Three of our panelists spoke at the October 2015 WAC event previewing COP21 and are anxious to share their reflections on the Paris Agreement.
Mr. Derik Broekhoff – Senior Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute
Derik Broekhoff joined SEI’s U.S. Center in Seattle in June 2015, to work on climate change mitigation research.
He has worked on energy and climate policy for more than 18 years, with an emphasis on greenhouse gas accounting, emissions trading, and carbon offsets. His research interests include the effective design and implementation of environmental market mechanisms, along with assessing and enabling climate mitigation policies that go beyond “carbon pricing,” especially at the local government level.
He is currently working on an evaluation of how local government actions can complement national policies and increase the ambition of greenhouse gas mitigation targets under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Prior to joining SEI, Derik was vice president for policy at the Climate Action Reserve in Los Angeles, where he oversaw development of the Reserve’s voluntary carbon offset program and its transition into California’s regulatory cap-and-trade program.
Previously, he worked on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative at the World Resources Institute, where he also managed work on the design of emissions trading programs, registry systems, and standards for carbon offsets. He has advised numerous state, national, and multi-national policy initiatives on carbon accounting and program design, including voluntary and regulatory offset programs and programs to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+).
He has a master’s degree in public policy (MPP) from the University of California at Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University.
Dr. Michael Gillenwater – Executive Director; Dean of the Institute; Co-Founder, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute
Dr. Gillenwater is a leading expert on climate change and renewable energy, with a specific focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) issues. He has dedicated his career to the development of the policies and infrastructure needed to produce highly credible environmental information that can serve as the basis of market and other compliance mechanisms, especially monitoring and verification policies and management and reporting systems for GHGs and ecosystem services.
Michael has worked on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change policy since 1995 when we began working on the early studies of sulfur hexafluoride emissions. He is a lead author of multiple Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, whose work was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize, and has participated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process as an expert for almost two decades. For the UNFCCC, he developed and taught the courses that certify experts to serve on compliance review teams under the Kyoto Protocol and has supported both the Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board and the Joint Implementation Steering Committee as a methodology expert. He was also a core advisor to World Resources Institute and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development on the revised edition of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Michael has taught courses on GHG management at Princeton and the Harvard University Extension School.
Dr. Gillenwater earned his doctorate Princeton University’s Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Program (STEP) in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His research focused on renewable energy and emission markets.
He has a masters from the University of Sussex in Evolutionary Adaptive Systems, where he was a William J. Fulbright Scholar. He has two additional masters degrees from MIT in environmental engineering and “Technology and Policy,” as well as a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University.
Ms. Brenna Davis - Sustainability Director, Virginia Mason Health System & Chair, Washington Business for Climate Action
Brenna Davis is an environmental scientist and sustainability expert working in the nexus of health, environment and business for nearly 20 years. She is recognized as one of the nation’s authorities on health care sustainability, and a thought leader on climate change business engagement.
Brenna began her sustainability career in a Northwest oil refinery in 1995. She worked with oil, gas and utility companies on Environmental Management Systems for more than 15 years. In 2012, she began work as the inaugural Director of Sustainability at Virginia Mason. Under her leadership, Virginia Mason has improved its performance and grown into an industry leader on sustainability. Virginia Mason is now recognized as one of the Top 25 Sustainable Hospitals in the US by Practice Green Health, their highest honor. In 2015, Virginia Mason received three gold medals in the Global 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge at COP21, the highest achievement of any organization globally.
Brenna’s reach and commitment extends beyond Virginia Mason’s facilities. In 2013, she founded the Pacific Northwest Health Care Sustainability Roundtable, in order to create a collaborative dialogue in the local Health Care industry. In 2014, she facilitated and led the process that created the Washington Climate Declaration. The same year, she co-founded and became chair of the Washington Business for Climate Action, a group of businesses collaborating to act on climate. Also in 2014, she was invited to advise the Obama Administration on climate resilience during the White House Health Care Climate Resiliency Roundtable facilitated by John Podesta. In 2015, she presented on health care climate action at the White House Summit on Climate and Health, urging other health care organizations to engage in climate advocacy. In the end of 2015, she presented at the French Health Care Federation’s Low Carbon Conference at COP21 in Paris.
Mr. Marc Daudon (moderator) – Founder & Strategic Advisor, Strategic Planning & Facilitation, Climate Change, Cascadia Consulting Group
Marc has over 25 years of management consulting experience related to environmental issues, including the fields of sustainability, biodiversity, organics, household hazardous waste, energy, water conservation, climate change, and waste prevention and recycling. Marc manages diverse and complex projects involving research, policy analysis, consensus-building and strategy development. His experience in strategic planning and facilitation has empowered organizations and governments both locally and abroad to achieve consensus around environmentally sound and economically viable public policy programs. This experience includes developing a sustainability action plan for Washington State, biodiversity conservation plans for Washington and Tanzania, comprehensive waste management policies for multiple jurisdictions, and national energy plans for Sudan and Pakistan. In addition to strategic planning, Marc’s functional expertise involves developing conservation financing initiatives, conducting market assessments, performing feasibility studies, facilitating stakeholder groups, and implementing and evaluating programs. Marc has an M.A. in Public and Private Management from Yale University’s School of Management.
This event is part of the 2015-2016 Community Programs Climate Change Series