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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

Joint IGS and International Affairs Standing Panel: Climate Adaptation Workshop Series Part 1

September 13, 2023

Climate Adaptation Workshop Series Part 1:

What can be learned from comparing country governance responses to ongoing climate impacts for which preparations had been made?

Thursday, September 28th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm (ET)

As countries and localities globally cope with escalating climate impacts, there are continued global reports of disastrous impacts in locales that were said to be prepared. These include the summer 2023 flooding in Beijing following the 2012 Beijing and the 2021 Zhengzhou floods; flooding in Vermont and the wildfire in Hawaii followed preparations in these locales; in Australia, damaging floods and wildfires followed years of preparation. What can we learn from comparing what went wrong (or right) where climate impacts followed preparations?

Current events compel nations to work collaboratively to understand how to address the local impacts of globally common risks. The International Affairs Standing Panel, Intergovernmental Systems Panel, and Environmental Law Institute will sponsor a Workshop Series to build a framework for comparative cross-country learning by policymakers, practitioners, scholars, and concerned citizens. The work builds on and is a component of, an ongoing NAPA cosponsored Australia/China/US comparative climate adaptation governance project. To begin, we will compare cases where preparations were in place but did not work as hoped.

The first webinar will focus on extreme water events and will take place on Thursday, September 28, 7 pm ET, 4 pm PT, Friday, September 29, 7 am Beijing, 9 am Sydney, accommodating a global set of speakers. We will compare recent flood events. Speakers will address a common set of questions, followed by comments from discussants and open discussion.

Agenda and Speaker List

Welcome: NAPA International Affairs and Intergovernmental Systems Panels, Environmental Law Institute

Moderator: Dan Guttman, Co-Chair, International Affairs Standing Panel


  • China: The 2012/2021/2023 Beijing and Zhengzhou Floods; Xiaofan Zhao, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Australia: The 2022-2023 Murray River Floods; Michael Spencer, Founding Chair, Alliance for Water Stewardship; Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • U.S.: The 2023 Vermont Flood; Rebecca Kihslinger, Senior Science and Policy Analyst, Director Wetlands Program, Environmental Law Institute


  • Oran Young, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara; Founding Chair, National Academy of Sciences Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change; Founding Co-Chair Global Carbon Project; Chair Scientific Steering Committee international project on the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change
  • Rob Lempert, Director, Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition; Principal Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School; coordinating lead author for Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report, a chapter lead for the Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment


Video Recording