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Dr. Lisa Goddard

PANEL 4: The Way Forward
 Dr-Lisa-Goddard-Moderator Dr. Lisa Goddard
Director, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Earth Institute, Columbia University

Dr. Goddard has been involved in El Niño and climate forecasting research and operations since the mid 1990s. She has extensive experience in forecasting methodology and has published papers on El Niño, seasonal climate forecasting and verification, and probabilistic climate change projections. Currently leading the IRI’s effort on Near-Term Climate Change, Dr. Goddard oversees research and product development aimed at providing climate information at the 10-20 year horizon and how that low frequency variability and change interacts with the probabilistic risks and benefits of seasonal-to-interannual variability. Most of Dr. Goddard’s research focuses on diagnosing and extracting meaningful information from climate models and available observations. Dr. Goddard holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from Princeton University and a B.A. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley.

DR. LISA GODDARD, Director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Earth Institute of Columbia, started her remarks by saying there is one development goal on the importance of navigating the climate change and its impacts. But those impacts are not just climate change, we had impacts from climate throughout civilization, and it’s all of these other challenges that were facing in development and humanity; growing populations, added stress on our resources, all of these things are now making climate itself a bigger challenge. And climate information can really help inform the way forward on many of these development goals. If we think about challenges that have been brought up here, such as migration, the stresses on natural resources. All these investments in development, knowing something about the risks we face from climate, what climate may bring in the next season or the next year or two are very important for our preparedness.

The humanitarian community has really start to learn that response to disaster can cost many times more than preparedness, and it leads to much more loss of life as well. It can also lead to a loss of decades of investment in human and financial resources in development. It [climate] is really crosscutting and implicit in all these goals. Last year at the UN General Assembly, President Obama announced a U.S. initiative called “Climate Resilient Development”. And what that means is that now all U.S investments and activities, internationally, need to consider the impact of climate variability and change on these activities and changes. I really encourage many countries to think about this as a really explicit part of their development goals.

Our institute is a part of Sustainable Development Solutions network, and that’s not an accident. Jeffrey Sacks, who is the director of Columbia Earth Institute, has been a big advocate for the SDGs, He really has furthered the entire Earth Institute, which is really made up of 3 different research institutes. It’s really furthered our position on sustainable development and getting all of this expertise to work together- whether that’s water, agriculture and food security, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy, technology, politics, economics, and the social science to think about how people confront science and new technology, and work that into their particular contexts. All of these are important, they crosscut, and I think that this thinking is so important as we go forward, this innovation and how you bring things together. And I think that’s what we’re going to be able to embrace in this panel; is innovation and how we think about the science, business, education, and the leaders in our community who can bring that forward.