Texas Tech University

Climate Expert Katharine Hayhoe to Speak at Nobel Peace Prize Forum

George Watson

October 11, 2018

Katharine Hayhoe

The panel discussion in Oslo, Norway will cover the world’s response to climate change.

Katharine Hayhoe, co-director of the Texas Tech University Climate Science Center and a professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts & Sciences, has been invited to participate in one of the most distinguished forums in the world by the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

Hayhoe will join other world leaders on climate science, policy and solutions as part of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Forum Oslo at the University of Oslo, Norway. The forum, scheduled for Dec. 11 and titled “How to Solve the Climate Crisis in Time,” will follow the keynote speech delivered by former U.S. vice president and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore.

“I'm honored to participate in this event, and I appreciate the decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum to use this event to highlight the urgency of a changing climate,” Hayhoe said. “Just last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, detailing in stark terms the future of our world if we don't take immediate action to reduce carbon emissions. A global conversation about how we can sensibly and safely accomplish this goal is exactly what we need right now.”

As the co-director of the Climate Science Center, Hayhoe engages with stakeholders in agriculture, public health, energy, infrastructure and more to communicate the relevance of a changing climate to our society today.

Joining Hayhoe on the panel to address climate change issues and solutions will be professor Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; and Thina Margrethe Saltvedt, head of the Sustainable Finance Division of Nordea Bank of Norway and a former oil market analyst.

Past keynote speakers for this event have included former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Riboberta Menchú Tum, a human rights activist from Guatemala.

Hayhoe is considered one of the world's leading experts on climate science. Her research focuses on evaluating future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment by developing and applying high-resolution climate projections. She also presents the realities of climate change by connecting the issue to values people hold dear instead of being confrontational with scientific facts.

This year she was awarded the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One, a consortium under the Commonwealth of California that utilizes the top minds from business, government, academia and advocacy groups to advance the discussion about a clean energy future.

In 2017, Hayhoe played a key role in the first volume of the Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, authoring the chapter on climate models, scenarios and projections, and co-authoring the chapters on temperature trends and the potential for surprises in the climate system. She also is the lead author of the second volume, to be published in December.

Also in 2017, she was named one of the 50 World's Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, which honors men and women across the globe who are helping to change the world and inspire others to do the same. In 2016, she was named to the annual Politico 50 list, which recognizes those in society who help shape policy and thinking in the U.S.

Hayhoe reaches a global audience through the KTTZ PBS Digital Short Series “Global Weirding,” an online series that focuses on exploring the arguments, science, religion, culture and psychology where politics and climate change intersect that is currently in its third season.

The forum will be streamed live by Nobel Media and will be accessible on YouTube.

Hayhoe will also present a discussion  on Friday (Oct. 12) on climate change solutions to help kick off the 2018-19 Presidential Lecture & Performance Series at 7 p.m. at the Allen Theatre in the Student Union Building (SUB).