Diana Liverman is the co-director of the Institute of the Environment at The University of Arizona and a Regents Professor in the School of Geography and Development. Her research focuses on the human and social dimensions of environmental issues including vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, environmental change and food security, and international climate and environmental policy. She has authored or edited seven books and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. She is the recipient of the Royal Geographical Society’s Founders Gold Medal and the Distinguished Scholarship Award of the Association of American Geographers for her contributions to understanding the human dimensions of global environmental change.
Dr. Liverman's talk will address relationships between climate and poverty. Vulnerability to climate extremes and changes is closely connected to poverty in both the developed and developing world with the poor often suffering most from heat waves, droughts and severe storms. Climate change is likely to cause serious impacts and may undermine decades of development investments in agriculture, health, conservation and poverty alleviation. The good news is that by many measures poverty is declining across much of the world. As poverty declines this can reduce vulnerability but may also result in increases in greenhouse gas emissions as incomes rise. Responses to climate change - including policies to reduce emissions and plan adaptation to a warmer climate - can have both negative and positive impacts on poor or otherwise marginalized populations. This lecture will discuss how we can reduce the risks of climate change through controlling the growth of greenhouse gases while providing energy, jobs and food to the poor and how adaptation projects can address the needs of low income populations across the world. Examples will be drawn from research on climate adaptation and carbon reduction projects research in the Americas.