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As the pandemic grinds the world to a halt, what is most tragically visible is the disparity and inequities in society. Similar disparities are visible when to comes to climate mitigation and adaptation. If we are to really get to the level of mitigation that the Paris Agreement calls for, it can only happen with increased attention to equity.
Through his research based in India, the ‘Decent Living Energy project, Dr. Narasimha Rao, a professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and an energy systems analyst, shows that reducing inequality – within countries and between them – would improve our ability to mitigate some of the worst effects of climate change, and provide for a more stable climate future. “We need to look more rigorously at the basic requirements of human well-being and human progress. We know what they are in economics and social policy, but we don’t know how to align those requirements with climate change and energy use“, he says.
Dr. Rao’s presentation will be followed by a conversation with Dr. Sharachchandra Lele of ATREE.
Narasimha D Rao
Dr. Narasimha D. Rao is an Asst. Professor of Energy Systems at Yale University’s School of the Environment, and a Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Dr. Rao’s research examines energy systems, climate change and economic and resource inequality. He is particularly interested in how climate change and mitigation policies impact poverty around the world.
He is a contributing author to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, and the recipient of the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for a project entitled Decent Living Energy – which examines the energy needs and climate impacts of poverty eradication in select emerging economies. He was previously a Visiting Faculty at IIM-Bangalore. He received his PhD from Stanford University in Environment and Resources, and has two Masters from MIT in Technology Policy and Electrical Engineering.
Dr. Sharachchandra (Sharad) Lele is an interdisciplinary environmental researcher, bridging the natural sciences, economics, and political science to understand the concepts of and pathways to environmentally sustainable and socially just development. He works on sustainable forest management and forest governance, water governance and pollution regulation, and the links between these sectors and climate change. He is currently Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy & Governance at the Centre for Environment & Development in the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). He has published widely in these fields, including co-authoring several books, “Community-based Natural Resource Management in South Asia” and “Rethinking Environmentalism: Linking Justice, Sustainability and Diversity” to name a few.
He is a founder-member and past President of the Indian Society for Ecological Economics and a past Board member of the International Society for Ecological Economics. He has also served on a number of official committees related to the Forest Rights Act, human-elephant conflict, Bellandur Lake, and the Expert Appraisal Committee for Thermal Power Plants and Coal Mining.