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[Symposium] Global warming: science and geopolitics

On June 7, 2019, during the international symposium on sustainable development hosted by l'X, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Michal Kurtyka and Scott Barret will cross their viewpoints on global warming and its impacts.

Climate change is now a proven scientific fact. Following the first indicators recorded in the late 1980s and based on all the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a consensus has emerged showing an average temperature increase of between 0.8 and 1.2°C from 1850 to the present day.

Although this may seem relatively modest in absolute terms, it actually represents an overwhelming increase on a geological time scale, and reflects a profound shift in our planet’s climate system. Evidence of the role of human activity in causing this temperature rise has also been confirmed, linked principally to our use of fossil fuels that release considerable amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

What are the concrete consequences of climate change that are either already apparent or unavoidable in the foreseeable future? Is the objective proposed by the Paris Agreement on climate change of ensuring that the average temperature increase of the earth does not exceed 1.5°C by 2100 still an achievable one?

The scale and complexity of the challenges faced by humankind in terms of sustainable management of natural resources and limiting global warming call for unprecedented international cooperation. But the question remains: how do we go about dividing up this burden equitably between formerly industrialized and emerging countries? And are the current decision-makers up to the challenge?

Friday, June 7, 2019 - form 9:30 am to 10:30 am

>Find out more on the symposium, here

Valérie Masson-Delmotte
Valérie Masson-Delmotte is a Senior Scientist at CEA, working within the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences of the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace. She also co-chairs Working Group I of the IPCC for its Sixth Assessment Report (2015-2022), focusing on the physical basis of climate change. Following an educational background in the physics of fluids from École Centrale de Paris, Masson-Delmotte’s research has focused on quantifying and understanding past climate and water cycle variability, particularly through isotopic analysis of ice cores, as well as on assessing climate models. Her research has resulted in over 250 scientific publications and won numerous awards. She is also committed to sharing knowledge from the field of climate science with the general public and young audiences.

Michal Kurtika
COP24 President, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Environment of Poland, Michał Kurtyka is responsible for implementation of climate policy. Earlier, as Secretary of State in the Ministry of Energy, he was responsible for technological development and innovation in the energy sector and international relations. He also created the governmental programme for the development of electro-mobility in Poland. Michał Kurtyka is graduated from École polytechnique (Year of entry 1994), Warsaw University and Warsaw School of Economics.

Scott Barrett
Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics at Columbia University, Vice Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs. His research focuses on the design of institutions to address global problems requiring international cooperation. He has been writing on climate change for more than 25 years. Currently, he is also working on governance of the world’s oceans and the eradication of malaria.