The Center for Climate and Life supports two major conferences each year, the Columbia Climate and Life Conference and the Columbia Roundtable for Global Climate, Business, and Finance. We also host and support scientific meetings and conferences on a range of climate topics.

Columbia Climate and Life Conference Series

The Columbia Climate and Life Conference Series hosts leading international scientists to present new research on themes central to our mission of understanding how climate influences the security of food, water, shelter, and developing sustainable energy solutions. These conferences present current and advanced research to understand how climate is changing, or has changed, life-sustaining components of the Earth system. Conference themes are proposed to the Advisory Board, and successful proposals will be funded to support a one- to two-day conference.

Columbia Roundtable for Global Climate, Business, and Finance

The Columbia Roundtable for Global Climate, Business, and Finance brings together leading climate scientists, engineers, social scientists, and international business and finance leaders to translate scientific knowledge into action. The objective of this invitation-only conference is to build communication and understanding between these communities and to present stakeholders with the most current state of knowledge in climate change science and solutions.

Past Events

Conference on Fire Prediction Across Scales — October 23-25, 2017 at Columbia University

Realistic models of fire activity and behavior are necessary for operational fire management, and to understand past and future changes in fire activity. Developing such models, however, requires taking into account vegetation cover, land use practices, fire management capacity, extreme weather, and climate variability. To help foster knowledge exchange among the diverse fields of expertise involved in fire prediction, the Columbia University Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, with support from the Center for Climate and Life, hosted a 2.5-day conference, organized around the themes of “Fire Prediction” and “Fire Management and Impacts.”

The event was co-organized by Center for Climate and Life Fellow Park Williams. At the meeting, scientists pinpointed areas where advances in fire prediction can be made within the next decade; learn more about the outcomes in our meeting summary.

The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors May 2, 2017 at Columbia University
How can an application of the best climate science improve competition across the private sector? What are the actionable trends impacting the stability and security of food, water, shelter, health, and energy resources? How will these trends affect investment returns, creating both risks and opportunities for business leaders? This forum — a joint effort by the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory — brought together climate scientists and business leaders to understand how new advances in climate science can inform investments in specific sectors of the global economy. The conference explored topics that address the value and opportunity of using a science-based approach to inform and guide business decisions.

The conference resulted in a white paper, “The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors.” In the report, conference organizers and speakers explain how climate change affects investments and best practices for integrating scientific knowledge into climate-sensitive decisions.