CU Receives $1 Million Grant to Help Developing Countries Respond to Climate Change Impacts

Published: Sept. 25, 2008

The University of Colorado at Boulder has received a $1 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to establish a new worldwide consortium to help link decision-makers in developing and industrialized countries with institutes, government agencies and individuals to collectively share their climate, water and weather-related knowledge.

Announced today at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, the Consortium for Capacity Building will be directed by Michael "Mickey" Glantz, whose work with the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Center for Capacity Building over the past several decades has made important contributions to understanding and responding to climate impacts.

"A central feature of the consortium is to foster the notion of climate affairs which encompasses climate science, climate impacts, politics, policy and law, economics and ethics and equity," said Glantz. "I'm really excited to be able to continue this work."

Glantz will be joined in the new consortium by Roger Pielke Jr., a professor in CU-Boulder's Environmental Studies Program and a fellow of the university's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, political scientist Tsegay-Wolde Georgis and atmospheric scientist Qian Ye.

"The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support the Consortium for Capacity Building at the University of Colorado at Boulder, one of today's leading climate change research and teaching institutions," said Judith Rodin, the foundation's president. "This single grant will equip hundreds -- and eventually thousands -- of scholars and practitioners with the scientific tools to understand and address the effects of the global climate crisis. It will also add CCB to the foundation's growing network of partners in Africa, Asia and around the world, reinforcing the impact of our $70 million initiative to bolster community resilience to climate change's continuing consequences."

The consortium will be associated with CU-Boulder's Environmental Studies Program and the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research, or INSTAAR.

"Climate change is happening now, and while taking steps to curb human impacts is always important, learning how best to adapt is becoming increasingly necessary," said Jim White, director of INSTAAR. "The consortium has long been an important leader in adaptation strategies. INSTAAR is happy to help where and when we can in that effort, and we thank the Rockefeller Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative for making that possible."

The consortium will focus on research, education and outreach to areas around the world, including South Africa, North Africa, Asia, Latin America and the polar regions.

Some of the projects under way include the first international undergraduate conference on climate affairs to be held in Shanghai, China, in summer 2009, a newly initiated climate affairs collaboration with the Libyan government, a project focused on biofuels and food security in Ethiopia, the recent creation of an international center for coastal urban affairs at East China Normal University in Shanghai and a K-12 education program with the Chinese ministry of education. Glantz will continue to work with various United Nations agencies on issues related to early warning systems for climate, water and weather-related hazards.

CU-Boulder educators and students will assist in the development of the consortium. Glantz will teach a course in spring 2009 on climate change and society within CU-Boulder's International Affairs Program.