Diana Liverman

Nobel Conference 55

Diana Liverman spoke of the “megachallenge” of addressing the climate risks faced by the most vulnerable populations on the planet, while also meeting the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations, including eliminating poverty. In her conference presentation, Liverman used case studies to explore the conundrums we face in addressing these sometimes- conflicting goals. How can we ameliorate poverty and develop sustainably while adapting to, and limiting, climate change?

Liverman studies climate vulnerability and adaptation. Who is most vulnerable to climate change? Can better climate information reduce suffering and economic loss? Can we both adapt to climate change and meet sustainable development goals? To answer these questions, Liverman uses the tools of a social scientist, working in collaboration with specialists from a variety of disciplines. She focuses her exploration on small scale farmers in Mexico and Arizona.

Liverman’s work calls us to recognize the complexities of a warming world in a social and political context. As we struggle to develop the political will to mitigate and adapt to climate change, we must understand the range of factors that limit our ability to do so, while recognizing that both the climate and the strategies we implement to deal with it will have impacts on society. Liverman is Regents Professor of Geography and Development at University of Arizona. She was a contributor to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and lead author of the 2018 IPCC Special Report "Global Warming of 1.5 degrees C."