Emerson Resende is a climate change specialist with a background in private sector sustainability, energy management and the built environment. Passionate about environmental businesses and sustainable solutions, Emerson worked in Latin America and Europe for six years before joining the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat in 2010 in Germany to support the intergovernmental process on climate change adaptation. He is co-leading the Private Sector Initiative of the Nairobi work programme and responsible for designing and developing a programme to engage the private sector on climate change adaptation issues. The Global Adaptation Institute had the opportunity to ask Resende questions about his experience working with the Private Sector Initiative.
GAIN: When and how did the program come about?
U.N. Private Sector Initiative: The Private Sector Initiative (PSI) is part of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. It was created in 2009 in response to a mandate from the Parties of the Climate Change Convention to engage stakeholders including those from the private sector in strengthening the support to developing countries in order to raise awareness to the need of adaptation and also to assist countries in making informed decisions on practical adaptation actions and measures.
Dan Rodrigo, Vice President and Water Resources Market Leader at CDM Smith Inc., has been working in the areas of water supply, integrated resources planning, systems thinking, green infrastructure, risk management and climate change for the past 25 years. He appreciates the work that GAIN and others are doing in facilitating information sharing and bringing greater awareness to climate change adaptation throughout the world. In his work with urban communities in the United States and globally, he recognizes that resiliency is key to climate change adaptation. But resiliency requires a thorough understanding of climate change risk—risk of no action, risk tolerance, and the cost of minimizing risk. The GAIN Index is one tool that can help communities understand their climate change risk, as well as identify those regions worldwide that will benefit the most from adaptation measures.
Urban communities across the globe are facing many challenges, including population growth, constraints on natural resources, environmental degradation and quality of life issues, competition for scare financial resources, and the need for greater resiliency to factors such as extreme events and climate change. Urban communities are also very tightly intertwined and interlinked.
After one year of blogging on the “Climate Adaptation Exchange”, Joyce Coffee, Edelman CSR & Sustainability Vice President, has covered a wide range of topics in adaptation from private sector investment and CSR to geoengineering, green buildings and GAIN, the Global Adaptation Institute.
At Edelman, Joyce provides strategic sustainability counsel to Midwest companies. Previously, she directed the Chicago Climate Action Plan and managed environmental codes and water and air resources in the City of Chicago Department of Environment and Sustainability. She has worked as an urban environmental consultant with the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership and more.
Q: Why did you choose climate adaptation as the subject of your blog?
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Vicki Arroyo is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center of Georgetown University Law Center where she is also a Visiting Professor. She oversees the Center’s work at the nexus of climate and energy policy, supervising staff and student work on adaptation at the state and federal level. She teaches “experiential” environmental law courses to both law and public policy students.
Vicki Arroyo knows a thing or two about climate change. A lawyer by training, she is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center, which works on policies to help government leaders (and the world) deal with climate change’s inevitable disruptions. But that’s not the only reason she’s familiar with climate change. As she tells us, she also grew up in New Orleans, devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a disaster in which 1,836 people died, nearly 300,000 homes were lost, and in which her mother and sister were caught up. They were able to get away in time, but their homes — with everything in them — were destroyed.
By: Jamie Carson, Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN)
Anne Hoskins, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability at Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), and Chair of the New Jersey Adaptation Alliance, has helped develop the Adaptation Alliance, which is making strides in developing adaptation best practices in a state with approximately 130 miles of coastline and an economy heavily dependent on industry and tourism. PSEG is a publicly traded, diversified energy company headquartered in New Jersey, and one of the ten largest electric companies in the U.S. It employs 10,000 people and includes total assets of $29.821 billion.