Lecture: Jonathan Patz

image of Jonathan Patz

The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources presents the 2016 Rubenstein Distinguished Lecture Jonathan Patz, Professor and John P. Holton Chair in Health and the Environment, Director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Renowned expert on climate change and human health, Dr. Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, Professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will speak at UVM on Monday, January 25, 2016. His public lecture, Health Opportunities Arising from Climate Change Policies Negotiated in Paris, will take place from 2:00 to 3:00 pm in the University of Vermont Davis Center Silver Maple Ballroom.

Hosted by the Rubenstein School, his talk at UVM follows the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) on climate change in December 2015 when world leaders convened in Paris to negotiate binding commitments on greenhouse gas reductions. Dr. Patz will address questions arising from COP 21. Are trade-offs of actions fully understood? Are the costs and benefits from a low-carbon economy fully accounted for to inform the policy process?

The global climate crisis poses many risks to human health: from heat waves, famines, and weather-sensitive infectious diseases to extreme storms, sea level rise, and infrastructure collapse. Yet, climate change mitigation policies could potentially have enormous public health benefits stemming from improved air quality and active transport that promotes physical fitness. These represent the Silver Lining or “co-benefits” of action to confront today’s global climate crisis. In short, climate change presents large human health risks; climate change actions, however, offer health benefits – possibly the greatest health opportunities in more than a century.

For 15 years, Dr. Patz served as a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. Dr. Patz also co-­chaired the health expert panel of the U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change, a report mandated by the U.S. Congress. He has established a close tie with the Dalai Lama since they co-chaired a 2011 conference on Ecology, Ethics and Interdependence in India.”