Preserving Nature’s Gifts Without Making the World More Unequal

Speaker: Sayantan (Sunny) Mitra

How can we mitigate climate change while also keeping in mind the inequalities that climate change has made worse?

On one hand, the negative effects of frequent extreme weather events brought about by climate change are being felt by people around the world. On the other hand, human activities that contribute to the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere show no signs of stopping. While mitigation efforts to decrease our CO2 emissions are being pushed, the lure of higher profits makes this a losing proposition.

The poor around the world are the ones that face the brunt of the frequent extreme weather events brought about by climate change. At the same time, within the limited means that they have, it is virtually impossible for them to pursue mitigation by taking a financial hit.

This talk seeks to tackle this situation and examine the potential for carbon markets to provide a sustainable and equitable solution. What are the flaws in the current form of carbon markets and what are the potential benefits, if they are improved? From this talk, students will learn how to think about the problems of climate change and inequality together. They will also be exposed to one possible path to address these challenges for the future.

About the Speaker

Sayantan "Sunny" Mitra is a PhD candidate in Agricultural & Resource Economics at UC Berkeley. As an international student from India, he has spent a large part of the last decade working on addressing the causes of poverty in developing countries like India. He is currently working on a dissertation focused on the impact of environmental degradation on poverty in India. Prior to beginning the PhD, he was a research associate affiliated with Evidence for Policy Design at Harvard Kennedy School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in Economics and Mathematics from the College of Wooster.

Suggested Audiences

Age: 7th - 12th grade and community college

Preparation: There is no preparation necessary.

Courses: Environmental Science, Economics, Government, Global Studies, World History, any other course where students examine climate change and/or climate justice.

Invite Sayantan (Sunny) Mitra to Speak