February 15, 2001

"Global Climate Change: Prospects for International Action" to be topic of talk March 7

Lecture on is free and open to the public

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—"Global Climate Change: Prospects for International Action" will be the subject of a lecture by Jonathan Lash, president of World Resources Institute (WRI), a leading environmental think tank based in Washington, D.C. Lash served as the co-chair of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development from 1993-1999, and is the former head of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. The talk will take place on the Middlebury College campus at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, in Room 216 of Bicentennial Hall on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125). The event is free and open to the public.

Lash’s talk will include a discussion of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was approved earlier this year in January in Shanghai, China by climate-change scientists from over 100 countries. The report presents strong new evidence that most of the global warming of the last 50 years has been caused by human activities. According to the document, global temperatures are projected to rise between 2.5 to 10.4 degrees from 1990 to 2100, a higher increase than the estimates published in the IPCC’s last assessment in 1995.

"As the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, the U.S. has an historic opportunity and

a moral responsibility to jump-start the stalled negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol," said Lash, referring to efforts to implement the international climate protection treaty. "Scientists have presented compelling evidence and politicians must move boldly to mitigate the impacts of climate change before it is too late."

Besides heading the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Lash directed the environmental law and policy program at the Vermont Law School and served as Vermont’s Commissioner of Environmental Conservation before taking his position at WRI. He is a board member of the Montpelier-based Institute for Sustainable Communities and the Washington, D.C.-based Wallace Global Fund.

The lecture is part of a Middlebury College program titled "International Studies and Environmental Studies: Building the Connection" that is partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program. For more information, contact Charlotte Tate of the Geonomics Center for International Studies at Middlebury College at 802-443-5795 or tate@middlebury.edu.

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