Theories of Change

By Center for Strategic and International Studies

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Climate change represents an unprecedented global challenge. This new podcast hosted by Sarah Ladislaw of the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program features conversations with global experts to discuss their Theories of Change, and what they think are the most necessary near-term steps and longer-term strategies to ensure a manageable climate for future generations.

Episode Date
Climate Leadership at the Five-Year Anniversary of the Paris Agreement
In this episode, host Sarah Ladislaw talks with Archie Young about the future of climate negotiations in light of this year’s delayed COP meetings and the five-year anniversary of the Paris agreement. Archie and Sarah look at the COP leadership role that the UK takes on this year amid the Covid-19 challenges, the steps left to meet the Paris targets and improve the global action, and how diplomatic efforts are working to empower and engage all stakeholders.  Archie Young has been the UK’s Lead Climate Negotiator since 2016, overseeing climate negotiations in the UNFCCC, EU, G7, and G20. He is also the UK’s director of Negotiations & Ambition for COP26. He has a background in both international and domestic policy. Previous roles include co-director of International Climate & Energy; deputy director of Americas and head of South America Department in the UK Foreign Office; head of delivery in the Department of Energy & Climate Change; and deputy director for Business, Environment and the Olympics in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. Recommendations for Further Reading: Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report Paris Agreement
Nov 19, 2020
Reimagining a U.S. Strategy for Resilience
In this episode, host Sarah Ladislaw talks with Ganesh Sitaraman about building a grand strategy of resilience and how climate change is one of the factors driving the need for a strategy. Sarah and Ganesh discuss why there is an opportunity now in the United States to develop and implement such a strategy. They highlight the importance of finding new approaches to organizing government and the economy and reflect on the broad implications for how we think about democracy.  Professor Sitaraman is currently Professor of Law and Director, Program in Law and Government at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches and writes about constitutional law, the regulatory state, economic policy, democracy, and foreign affairs. He has been a longtime advisor to Elizabeth Warren, including serving as a senior advisor on her 2020 presidential campaign, her senior counsel in the Senate, and her policy director during her 2012 Senate campaign. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the co-founder of the Great Democratic Initiative, which develops bold, innovative and detailed policy plans.  Recommendations for further reading:  A Grand Strategy of Resilience: American Power in the Age of Fragility  The Great Democracy: How to Fix Our Politics, Unrig the Economy, and Unite America Planning War, Pursuing Peace: The Political Economy of American Warfare, 1920-1939  Arsenal of World War II: The Political Economy of American Warfare, 1940-1945 
Oct 01, 2020
Engagement on the Climate Challenge
In this episode, host Sarah Ladislaw talks with Laurence Tubiana about the politics of climate change, national strategies, and the importance of public participation across all levels of climate change discussions. They also look at how the EU, China, and other global leaders are developing new rules of engagement to address the climate challenge. Laurence Tubiana is CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF). In addition, she is the Chair of the Board of Governors at the French Development Agency. Before joining the ECF, Laurence was France’s Climate Change Ambassador and Special Representative for COP21, and as such a key architect of the landmark Paris Agreement. Following COP21, she was appointed High Level Champion for Climate Action by the UN. Laurence brings wide-ranging expertise and experience in climate change, energy, agriculture and sustainable development, working across government, think tanks, NGOs, and academia. Laurence’s recommendations for further reading: Losing Earth The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Sep 17, 2020
The Value of Experimentation and Learning
This week host Sarah Ladislaw talks with David Victor about the role of policy, climate science, and technology in crafting solutions to lowering GHG emissions. They look at past examples of multilateral climate policy, what we learned from them, and how we can apply those lessons to today’s climate challenge. David Victor is a professor of international relations at the School of Global Policy and Strategy and the cofounder and director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation (ILAR) at the University of California at San Diego. Victor also is a leading contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His research focuses on regulated industries and how regulation affects the operation of major energy markets. David’s recommendations for further reading: Accelerating The Low Carbon Transition ARPA-E -
Jul 23, 2020
How to Scale the Climate Change Mountain
This week host Sarah Ladislaw invites Rachel Kyte to discuss the importance of framing climate change to help understand the different challenges and solutions. They discuss impacts from Covid-19, the scale of the disruption, difficulty in crafting a response plan, and how to make sure the response is cleaner and sustainable. Rachel stresses the need of both bottom up and top down changes across the global economy. Rachel Kyte is the dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Previously, Rachel was special representative of the UN secretary-general and CEO with Sustainable Energy for All, and former Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change at the World Bank.
Jul 09, 2020
Climate Science, Communication, and Common Ground
The CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program is excited to launch our new podcast -- Theories of Change -- with our first guest, Dr. Katherine Hayhoe. Katherine is an atmospheric scientist and professor of political science at Texas Tech University, where she is director of the Climate Science Center. With host Sarah Ladislaw, Katherine walks us through how prepared the world is to combat climate change and where we need to be in the coming decades. She also shares with us how to find common ground when talking about how to find climate change solutions. More about Katherine can be found here. Be sure to check out her videos and lectures, especially the Global Weirding series.
Jun 23, 2020