Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation“Climate Change Adaptation: The Next Great Challenge for the Developing World”

Remarks as Delivered American Association for the Advancement of Science 2008 Annual Meeting


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This weekend’s theme is “science and technology from a global perspective.”  So, over the next several minutes, I will briefly explain the Rockefeller Foundation’s global perspective, and then explore with you the role science and technology must play in solving the intersecting climate change and global poverty crises. First, I will draw from two bodies of scientific knowledge, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and the Fourth Assessment Report of the I.P.C.C. to demonstrate briefly that environmental degradation, climate change, and poverty are inextricably connected. Then, I will complicate this important body of work with the following assertion: unplanned urbanization in the developing world will exacerbate the impacts of climate change already experienced by the rural poor. And finally, I will talk about the need for new tools, new techniques, and new technologies to stabilize and reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, support the efforts of underdeveloped, underserved communities to survive that environmental degradation human beings have already caused, and strengthen our shared future by restoring ecosystems and expanding social and economic opportunity.

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