Comprehensive assessment by scientists shows that it is extremely likely that human activity has been the dominant cause of global change since the mid-20th Century. While the carbon footprint of the world’s most poverty-stricken billion people is only 3 per cent of the world’s total footprint, they are the most vulnerable to its consequences.
This is the reason why this year’s conference organised by the International Development Society revolves around climate change, its effects on developing countries, and the necessary domestic and international policy steps to undertake in order to improve the situation.
Climate change affects developing countries in several ways.
Firstly, it has disastrous effects on the state of world agriculture. This will be especially the case in developing countries that have limited financial resources and technologies available to adapt to such environmental impacts.
To explore this topic further, we are hosting Dr Claire Quinn, from the University of Leeds, who will speak to us about the effects of climate change on agriculture in Africa. Dr Quinn is an environmental social scientist with over 20 years of experience working on interdisciplinary projects in Africa, Europe and Asia.
After Dr Quinn, Professor Fiona Nunan, from the University of Birmingham, will talk to us about policy solutions in developing countries. She will talk to us about her book titled Making Climate Compatible Development Happen. Her first book Understanding Poverty and the Environment: Analytical Frameworks and Approaches makes an innovative contribution to the literature on environment and development by bringing together a diverse range of analytical approaches and frameworks that can be used to study human-nature interactions.
After, Patrick Curran, Policy Analyst and Research Advisor to Professor Stern, will deliver a talk titled Unlocking the sustainable and inclusive growth story of the 21st Century: The central role of developing countries. Curran researches at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE. Before that, he worked at Camco Clean Energy (South Africa) supporting the development of climate change and energy policy in sub-Saharan Africa.
We also have a speaker from the International Institute for Environment and Development in Edinburgh. Binyam Gebreyes will speak about climate policy in Ethiopia and the International climate change negotiation in the context of Least Developed Countries. Before joining the IIED, he worked for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of Ethiopia serving as an environmental law expert: main responsibilities involved coordinating matters related to multilateral environmental agreements including domestic ratifications and supporting national implementation of those treaties.
Finally, Adrian Villasenor-Lopez, Research Fellow from the Centre for Health Economics here at York, will talk to us about environmental policy and human wellbeing. He undertook a postdoc at the “Centre for the Socio-Economic Impact Evaluation of Environmental Policies (CESIEP)” at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile where he worked evaluating the success of programmes in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Chile in terms of their impact on human wellbeing.
We are also hosting Jo Musker-Sherwood, from the NGO Hope for the Future. Her passion for climate justice stems from time volunteering in Peru and a year she spent working with asylum seekers and refugees. Together with campaigners and MPs from across the UK, she has been working as part of the campaign to find ways of communicating the urgency of the climate crisis to UK politicians.
During the conference, we will offer coffee and tea, as well as lunch. During the lunch break, we will host a quiz in which you can participate and test your knowledge about such an important topic! The winner will receive a prize.
Participation to the conference, which will be held in the Ron Cooke Hub Lakehouse on Saturday 23rd of February, is free, but we do ask you to book your place through Facebook or YUSU. We are proud and excited to present well-established and interest academics who are experts in their fields. See you there!
The International Development Society Committee