David Victor - Fixing the Climate: Strategies for an Uncertain World

Encina Hall West, room 400

Can the world meet the challenge of climate change? After more than three decades of global negotiations, the prognosis looks bleak. The most ambitious diplomatic efforts have focused on a series of virtually global agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and Paris Agreement of 2015. But with so many diverse interests across so many countries, it has been hard to get global agreement simply on the need for action, and meaningful consensus has been even more elusive. In his talk, the author, David G. Victor will discuss the question: Is International Cooperation on Climate Change Actually Slowing Global Warming?


David Victor is a professor of innovation and public policy at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego where he co-directs the campus-wide Deep Decarbonization Initiative (D2I), focuses on the engineering, economic and political challenges associated with bringing the world to nearly zero emissions of warming gases. Victor is an adjunct professor in Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and affiliated with the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department in the School of Engineering. Prior to joining the faculty at UC San Diego, Victor was a professor at Stanford Law School where he taught energy and environmental law.

His research focuses on regulated industries and how regulation affects the operation of major energy markets. Much of his research is at the intersection of climate change science and policy. Victor authored "Global Warming Gridlock," which explains why the world hasn't made much diplomatic progress on the problem of climate change while also exploring new strategies that would be more effective. The book was recognized by The Economist as one of the best books of 2011.

Victor was a convening lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations-sanctioned international body with 195 country members that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Victor has been tapped by Southern California Edison to lead the company’s Community Engagement Panel for decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, a nationally visible and unique effort to engage the community systematically through the process of shutting down one of the world’s most controversial power plants. In 2016 Victor was appointed to Co-Chair, The Brookings Institution, Initiative on Energy and Climate. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Energy, where his work focuses on the role of natural gas as a transition fuel to deep decarbonization as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2020, Victor was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the one of the oldest and most esteemed honorary societies in the nation.

His Ph.D. is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and A.B. from Harvard University.