“Climate Dialogues with Jerry Brown” New Episodes Available

Dialogues Continue with Former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, Former Irish President Mary Robinson and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees

July 26, 2021

BERKELEY – The California-China Climate Institute today released the latest episodes of its audio and video podcast, “Climate Dialogues with Jerry Brown,” featuring conversations with former United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary and Global Optimism Founding Partner Christiana Figueres; former President of Ireland and The Elders Chair Mary Robinson; and Astronomer Royal and Cambridge University’s Center for the Study of Existential Risk co-founder Dr. Martin Rees. 

In the latest episode, Brown, who serves as chair of the Institute, and Christiana Figueres discussed COVID-19 recovery measures and the intersection with climate, the need for more robust international climate investment and financing, and the role of the U.S. and China in addressing global climate change. “It is quite extraordinary that in a moment in history in which the U.S. and China are at odds about almost every topic on the planet, they are not at odds about climate change,” remarked Figueres who pointed to the importance of America’s emergence as the  “first country ever to have a whole-of-government approach to climate change.”

Brown also recently sat down virtually with Mary Robinson, who touched on the importance of the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP26), explaining that this is “the conference when governments have to step up and be real about their commitments.” The two also discussed issues of intergenerational, racial, and social justice and their nexus with climate, as well as climate impacts on the most vulnerable such as small island developing states. On the question of how to galvanize even stronger international climate leadership, Brown explained that, “we have to rise above the nationalism, the parochialism, to what I call planetary realism, based on common threat, common vulnerability, and therefore common interest.”

Finally, Brown welcomed Dr. Martin Rees onto the podcast, for a wide ranging conversation regarding the most serious global threats – including the pandemic, cybersecurity, nuclear, inequality, and climate issues – and the need for preparedness.  On climate change the pair recognized the need for a paradigm shift and for countries to show more urgency and take the threat more seriously. Brown summarized Rees’ perspective, stating, “Your sense is that it's possible to cope with this climate threat, but we’ve got to take it as an international emergency and operate on that basis.”

“Climate Dialogues with Jerry Brown,” was launched earlier this year. Previous episodes feature discussions with Energy Innovation CEO Hal Harvey, Institute Vice Chair and former California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and University of California, San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan.

New episodes will continue to be made available in the months ahead and will include in-depth discussions between Brown and a wide range of top climate leaders and experts -- from policymakers and scientists working behind the scenes to more public political leaders and chief executives pushing for climate solutions. These discussions will continue to inform and shape the work of the Institute.

The University of California-wide California-China Climate Institute was launched in September 2019 and is housed jointly at UC Berkeley’s School of Law – through its Center for Law, Energy & the Environment – and the Rausser College of Natural Resources. The Institute works in partnership with the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development at Tsinghua – one of China’s preeminent research institutions – as well with other University of California campuses, departments and leaders. Through joint research, training and dialogue, this Institute aims to inform policymakers, foster cooperation and partnership and drive climate solutions at all levels.

To learn more, and to watch and listen to the full episodes, visit: https://ccci.berkeley.edu/climate-dialogues-jerry-brown