Professor Jintao Xu, Director of EfD China/Environmental Economics Program in China (EEPC) and Senior Research Fellow, was invited as a panelist on the UN Climate Summit 2014 on September 23, 2014 on the thematic discussion session focusing on Climate, health and jobs and Economic Case for Action. Click below or this link: to watch the video from United Nations Webcast. Professor Jintao Xu speaks after 33 minutes.
The UN Climate Summit 2014 is a platform where world leaders, from government, finance, business and civil society came together to galvanize and catalyze climate action. Based on the request from the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, these leaders were expected to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. Climate Summit 2014 provided a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action that will enable a meaningful global agreement in 2015.
The Economic Case for Climate Action
How can countries strengthen their economic performance while tackling the challenges posed by climate change? This question lies at the heart of efforts to mobilize the resources and will needed for ambitious climate action.
Recent years have witnessed the most serious global economic crisis since the Great Depression. At the same time, extreme weather events and rising sea-levels have made clear the increasingly costly impact of climate change. The unsustainable use of resources, coupled with a growing world population and rapidly rising demand for energy, pose daunting challenges for keeping global warming within internationally agreed limits.
Several recent analyses contend that the benefits of moving toward more sustainable, low carbon growth far outweigh the risks of inaction, which include extensive loss of life, livelihoods, and infrastructure, as well as increased food insecurity and water scarcity. According to these studies, improving economic performance and pursuing low-carbon, climate resilient growth is not only compatible, but indeed one and the same objective.
This session featured leaders and world renowned experts from China, India, Mexico, and the United States, who discussed what transformations are needed in how we produce food and energy, build cities and transport goods to ensure a healthy planet while fostering strong, climate resilient economies. They also explored what strategies, policies and investments we should pursue to bring these transformations to reality.
H.E. Mr. Felipe Calderón, Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate
Felipe Calderón is Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, as well as current Honorary Chairman of the Green Growth Action Alliance, member of the Policy Advisory Council of the WBCSD, President of the Sustainable Human Development Foundation and member of the Board of Directors of the WRI. He served as President of Mexico from 2006 to 2012. During his period in office Mexico positioned itself as a global leader in fighting climate change. Prior to becoming President Felipe Calderón served as Secretary of Energy, and General Director of BANOBRAS. He was elected to the Federal Congress in 1991, becoming Secretary-General of the National Action Party, President and Leader of the Parliamentary Group. He was earlier a Representative in the Assembly of Mexico City (1988-91). President Calderon has been named “Statesman of the Year” by the World Economic Forum and “2011 Champion of the Earth” by the United Nations, he has received the Teddy Roosevelt award, among many other distinctions.
Felipe Calderón has a Bachelor’s degree in law, a Masters in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México; and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University
Jeff Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). His most recent book is To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013).
Leena Srivastava is currently the Vice Chancellor of the TERI University in addition to being the Hony. Executive Director at TERI, New Delhi. She serves on the Executive Committee of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative of the UN Secretary General and the Energy Advisory Board of the World Economic Forum, the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Climate of the UNEP’s Clean Air Coalition and the International Advisory Board of the Helmholtz program on Technology, Innovation and Society. Dr Srivastava is also a former member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change, as well as the Indian government’s Expert Committee to formulate India’s energy policy, Expert Committee on auto fuels and National Security Advisory Board. She was a lead author for Working Group III of the Third Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and contributed to the Fourth Assessment Report as well. Dr Srivastava holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics as well as a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Hyderabad, and a Ph.D. in Affordable Energy from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Prof. Xu has been serving as Director of the China Center for Energy and Development at the National School of Development, Peking University since 2012 and the Coordinator of the university’s Environmental Economics Program in China since 2007. Prior to that, he was the Chair of Peking University’s Department of Environmental Management from 2009-2011. He has written numerous papers and journal articles with a particular focus on comparative studies of forest management systems, transportation management, as well as the economics of climate policies and international negotiations. Prof. Xu currently holds special appointments as a member of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Asia-Pacific Forest Policy Think Tank and the Global Adaptation Institute’s Council of Scientific Advisors, along with a position as a senior expert at the China Green Carbon Fund. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in management engineering from Jilin University of Technology, along with a Master’s degree in forest economics from Beijing Forestry University and a Ph.D. in forestry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Mr. Gurría has been the Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since June 2006. He was re-appointed to a second mandate in September 2010. As Secretary-General, he has reinforced the OECD’s role as a ‘hub’ for global dialogue and debate on economic policy issues while pursuing internal modernisation and reform. Under his leadership, the OECD has expanded its membership to include Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia. It has also strengthened its links with other major emerging economies, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa, with a view to possible membership.
The OECD is now an active participant in both the G-8 and the G-20 Summit processes. Mr. Gurría has steered the launching of high profile initiatives, including in the areas of Innovation and Green Growth. Prior to assuming his post as Secretary-General, Mr. Gurría had a distinguished career in public service in Mexico, including two ministerial posts, serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1994-1998 and as Minister of Finance and Public Credit from 1998-2000. Mr. Gurría holds a B.A. degree in Economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and a M.A. degree in Economics from Leeds University (United Kingdom).
For more information please click: UN Climate Summit 2014.