Sign from Paris climate change conference
Michael Euler/AP

World leaders, scientists and activists are gathering in Paris from Nov. 30–Dec. 11 for United Nations climate talks known as the 21st annual Conference of Parties, or COP21 Paris. An international agreement is needed to limit already-inevitable climate change. The following faculty are among the UCLA experts available to discuss aspects of the climate talks.

Media contact: Alison Hewitt, 310-206-5461

Law and policy

Cara Horowitz, co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law.

  • Attending the Paris talks Nov. 29–Dec. 9 and is among a small group of faculty and students certified as delegates to participate in the talks.
  • Expertise in California and U.S. climate policy and how Los Angeles/California climate legislation can be applied elsewhere.
  • Expertise in the efforts to craft an international climate agreement. 
  • Expertise in subnational jurisdictional approaches to climate change.

Ann Carlson, professor of environmental law and faculty director of the UCLA Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

  • Attending the Paris talks with a delegation of faculty and students, Dec. 2–10.
  • Expert in environmental law, climate change and climate-change policy, state and federal emission standards, and constitutional questions related to environmental law.
  • Can discuss the concern that an agreement limiting emissions will hurt the economy, and how that concern has not been true in California.

Sean Hecht, law professor and co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

  • Expert on regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and emission standards in California and the U.S., and can discuss in the context of Paris talks.
  • Expert in climate adaptation law and policy, including how resource management and government decision-making adapt to climate change’s impacts on sea level, agriculture, water supply, and other resources and sectors.
  • Leading authority on the interactions between insurance and climate change.

International climate agreements

Ted Parson, environmental law professor and co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

  • Attending Paris talks through Dec. 5 with a delegations of UCLA faculty and students.
  • Can discuss the overall outlook for managing climate change and what roll the COP21 Paris negotiations could play.
  • A leading expert in legal issues raised by climate engineering technologies and other scientific, technological issues related to emissions reduction.
  • Studies the role of science and technology in policy-making and government regulation.

Kal Raustiala, law professor and director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations at the UCLA International Institute, where he is the associate vice provost.

  • Expert in the Kyoto Protocol international treaty on climate change, made at a previous U.N. climate conference.
  • Expert in international cooperation on environmental regulations.
  • Expert in United Nations environmental programs.

Adaptation and communication

Jon Christensen, adjunct assistant professor with UCLA’s Department of History and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

  • Senior editor of University of California report by 50 top climate scientists on solutions to combat climate change.
  • Expert in the history of environmental science.
  • Expert in environmental communications and environmental journalism.

Drought and climate change

Glen MacDonald, UCLA professor of geography and of ecology and evolutionary biology.

  • International authority on drought and climate change.
  • Expert in how climate change and drought affect various environments.
  • Expert in the management of increasingly limited water resources.

Arctic issues

Laurence Smith, UCLA professor with the department of geography, the department of Earth, planetary, and space sciences, and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

  • Expertise in climate change in the Arctic.
  • Expertise in melting ice in the Arctic and Greenland.
  • Expertise in economic potential in a warmer Arctic.

Water and climate change

Mark Gold, associate vice chancellor for environment and sustainability, Coastal Center director, and adjunct professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

  • Expert in coastal protection and coastal water issues related to climate change.
  • Expert in water supply and water management.
  • One of California’s leading environmental opinion makers and author of numerous California coastal protection, water quality and environmental education bills.
  • Head of the Sustainable L.A. Grand Challenge, UCLA’s effort to turn Los Angeles into a more sustainable, self-sufficient city in ways that could be replicated globally.

Conservation and disease

Thomas Smith, director of UCLA’s Center for Tropical Research and a professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

  • Expert in the importance of biodiversity in plant and animal conservation.
  • Studies practical and political means of supporting and funding Congo rainforest conservation.
  • Studies the spread of tropical diseases due to climate change.

Green business strategy

Magali Delmas, environmental economist, director of the UCLA’s Center for Corporate Environmental Performance, and professor with the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the UCLA Anderson School of Management

  • Expert in how environmental regulatory policies and incentives influence business strategies and performance.
  • Expert in green business strategies and the benefits to business of going green.
  • Expert in what motivates people to protect the environment.
  • Studies international green business certifications and standards.

Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change

Alex Hall, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and with the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

  • Expert in global climate models and climate change modeling at the local level
  • A lead author of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which, among other things, assesses global climate-change simulations for the United Nations.
  • Developed first localized climate models for Los Angeles, projecting increased temperatures, decreased snowfall, and more wildfires.

Aradhna Tripati, paleoclimatologist and professor in UCLA’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences.

  • Can discuss climate change impacts and historic consequences of carbon dioxide for the climate.
  • Expert in reconstructing Earth’s ancient climate record to discover the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a key contributor to global climate change.