See what three top experts told us about climate change
Earlier this year, the IDB sponsored a series of in-house presentations from leading experts in the field of climate change. The goal was twofold: to educate ourselves & the public on this important issue and provide an internal forum for collaboration within the Bank.
Like any other large organization, the IDB has many teams working on a variety of projects, all with their own goals and measures for success. Unwittingly, this can lead to the creation of barriers and silos, wherein colleagues within the same organization can miss opportunities for synergies, especially on the most significant cross-cutting issues like climate change. Our series of three presentations from climate change experts aimed to change that by bringing together a diverse group of internal and external colleagues working on climate change related issues.
For those that missed these three interesting talks, I’d like to invite you to watch them here. I’ve included a short summary of what I took away from these, but we also value your ideas on the lessons the development community can learn from these:
Gavin A. Schmidt, Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies from NASA, focused on the scientific aspect of climate change and how to create connections between climate science and industry, policymakers, and the general public. This included an explanation on the inevitable disconnect between climate models and reality and how to best plan and accommodate for the future.
Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center, brought an academic perspective. She discussed the financial and human impacts of climate change and how countries can adapt to the coming consequences of climate change. These included examples of high-tech and low-tech solutions that can be easily incorporated into development projects in a financially sustainable manner, such as
Finally, Mónica Araya, Founder and Director of Costa Rica Limpia, discussed the power and influence of an organized and proactive civil society to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. As she explained, this involves changing the narrative from “problem-driven” to “solution-driven”. In other words, rather than focusing on the seemingly insurmountable widespread outcomes of climate change, it’s important to highlight the solutions to prevent and mitigate these outcomes. In this way, we can empower communities and individuals to become a force for change.
Our turnout and engagement was great, but the true measure of success will be in the months ahead. How can we achieve more collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking? We need a serious effort to bring together sector-specific expertise of our internal and external colleagues. Because ultimately, we have a common objective: to identify, plan and implement long-term sustainable infrastructure projects which take climate change into consideration from the very beginning.