Climate Action

Goal 13 Climate Action

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow.

People are experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea level, and more extreme weather events. The greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are driving climate change and continue to rise. They are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century and is likely to surpass 3 degrees Celsius this century—with some areas of the world expected to warm even more. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.

Affordable, scalable solutions are now available to enable countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies. The pace of change is quickening as more people are turning to renewable energy and a range of other measures that will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts.

But climate change is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. Emissions anywhere affect people everywhere. It is an issue that requires solutions that need to be coordinated at the international level and it requires international cooperation to help developing countries move toward a low-carbon economy.

To address climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at the COP21 in Paris on 12 December 2015. The Agreement entered into force shortly thereafter, on 4 November 2016. In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. You can learn more about the agreement here.

Implementation of the Paris Agreement is essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and provides a roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

Interested Scholars

The following scholars are interested in this topic:

I am a Senior Law Lecturer at the University of Malawi: Chancellor College. I hold a Masters of Laws Degree from the University of Essex and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Degree from the University of Malawi. I am a visiting Lecturer at the University of Maryland: Francis King Carey School of Law. I co-developed and responsible for teaching the law school’s new Legal Theory and Practice Course: “Environmental Justice, Human Rights and Public Health.” The course was launched in January 2020. I was responsible for the development of environmental law and natural resources modules for Chancellor College.
I teach Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Water Policies, Laws and Institutions, International and Comparative Intellectual Property Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, and Private International Law at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have also taught other courses including International Law and Human Rights Law. I have supervised and assessed numerous student dissertations in Business and Human Rights, Intellectual Property Law, and Environmental Law. I have researched and consulted widely in a number of areas, including intellectual property and access to medicines, seed sovereignty and farmers’ rights, environmental law, disaster risk management, the right to health, rights of vulnerable prisoners. I have served as a facilitator and trainer for the regional training of trainers programme offered by ARASA, I was responsible for intellectual property and access to medicines. The programme involves participants from 18 southern and eastern African countries.

I am interested in working on
developing and improving robust data-based disaster or emergency management systems using real-time or time (or near real-time) data for developing countries.

My primary research interest is in the area of education. ICT plays an increasing and important role in the societies . It is also well know that informal economies are in one part caracterised by the informations gab, asymetry,… and ICT may play a great role in filling this gab in the area of Education or Risk Communication. Investigating the use of ICT in the decision making process of tertiary students about their future is my goal.
Populations are nowadays exposed to various sources of Informations through ICT. My second interest is to understand the role play by ICT in people behavior/action in time of crisis.

My interests are in coastal disasters and mitigation, with an emphasis on methods to evaluate the risks of tropical cyclones and storm surge. I am currently working on developing an integrated social and physical vulnerability index for a better risk assessment and more targeted approach for planning and preparing a coastal community prior to a hurricane.

Mara Torres Pinedo is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London. Her research focuses on how different individual attributes such as gender, migration status, and further socio-economic and risk perception characteristics, drive people’s institutional network connectivity to prepare, cope, and recover from disasters. Before starting her Ph.D., Mara achieved an MSc in Risk, Disaster and Resilience at UCL and a BA in International Relations. Before coming to the
UK to pursue her postgraduate studies, Mara worked as a Development practitioner for over 9 years in her natal Mexico, as well as in Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras and the US.

I am the Associate Director at ‘Doers’- a humanitarian organization working towards resilience and sustainability in the Himalayan region of India. I have 16 years of field-based experience in interrelated domains of disaster risk reduction, humanitarian response and climate change adaptation in India. I have contributed to the Hazard, Vulnerability & Risk Analysis (HVRA) of Himachal Pradesh state as well as Shimla city. Currently, I am leading an ambitious project to build ‘Data Ecosystem for Effective Planning and Response during Emergencies & Disasters (DEEPRED)’ at Doers. My research interests include the utilization of data for effective risk communication and building better decision support systems for disaster risk management.

My main scientific interest revolves around questions that integrate behavioral science insights for the prevention and reduction of risks, and the achievement of sustainable adaptive behaviors.

Witness Tapani Alfonso
Areas of Expertise: Education; Social Protection; Development, Disaster; Gender Equality; Monitoring & Evaluation; Governance; Public health and Political economy
Witness Alfonso is a senior research associate at the Institute of Public Opinion and Research (IPOR). With over six years of experience conducting research and managing projects in Malawi, Alfonso is an expert in both qualitative and quantitative research designs, team training, fieldwork management, and data analysis. He has led large-scale data collections using both paper and electronic data collection systems, conducting research in the areas of education, food security, disaster, gender, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), governance, monitoring and evaluation, and political economy.
Alfonso has worked on research projects with both local and international researchers and organisation that include Centre for Evaluation and Development (Germany), University of Notre Dame, Programme on Governance and Local Development at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Overseas Development Institute, M&C Saatchi World Services, Girl Effect Malawi, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, Afrobarometer, UNICEF Malawi and the World Bank. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Development studies obtained from the University of Malawi.

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Political Theory Project at Brown University. I hold a PhD in Political Economy from King’s College London and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva.

My research focuses on understanding how developing countries solve problems of collective action and political violence. I am particularly interested in public services provision, vertical and horizontal accountability, state violence, and private governance. Empirically, I have a regional focus on Latin America and leverage an array of methods and data, such as experiments and quasi-experiments, machine learning algorithms, online surveys, and administrative records. My research has been sponsored by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Getulio Vargas Foundation, the Brazilian Ministry of Education, and Google.

I am a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Public Policy Program at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. My core interest is in climate change and digital literacy that empowers nonprofit organizations to use digital environments, social networking sites (SNSs) in particular, to support climate change action. My research agenda explores the relationship between the policy process, communication theory, movement building, and theory of change with a particular focus on the environment, nonprofit advocacy, energy, and technology. I hold a Master’s of Public Policy (2017) from American University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. in International Relations (2012) from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. While at American, I was awarded the William K. Reilly Fellowship for my contributions to environmental governance and was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha, the Public Administration Honor Society, for my scholastic achievements. At Mount Holyoke, I was awarded the Elaine Conde Scholarship (2010), served as the co-chair of the International Student Organizing Committee (ISOC), and was a member of the student advisory board for the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives.

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