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Jonah Busch, a former Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, worked at CGD from 2013-2018 on the science, economics, and politics of tropical forests and climate change. In 2018 he joined Earth Innovation Institute as Chief Economist.
Dr. Busch has published more than twenty articles on climate, forests, and biodiversity in academic journals including Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics, and Environmental Research Letters. He is the co-author of the book Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change. He has also published on the economics of penguins, pandas, and surfers.
Busch has advised on the design of climate and forest finance mechanisms for governments and institutions including the President of Guyana, the governments of Indonesia, Norway, Bolivia, and California, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Global Environment Facility, Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, and Green Climate Fund. He serves on the editorial board of Conservation Letters and the advisory board for Carbon180.
Busch has been a lecturer (adjunct professor) at Columbia University's Earth Institute; a visiting scholar at Zhejiang University and University of California-Berkeley; Climate and Forest Economist at Conservation International; and a high school math teacher in the Peace Corps (Burkina Faso, ‘00-‘02). He speaks French, Spanish, Indonesian, Mooré, and Mandarin Chinese with varying degrees of proficiency and has traveled in more than seventy-five countries.
The story of climate change and development can be told in three simple pie charts: Developing countries are hurt most by climate change (chart #1). Historically, developed countries were most responsible for climate change (chart #2). But now, developing countries are most responsible for climate change (chart #3). That shift may be what leads to a successful climate agreement this December in Paris.
Here at the Center for Global Development we’re concerned with how the practices of rich countries affect developing countries. So with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff visiting President Obama this week, it’s a natural time to ask, who gets invited to White House State Dinners and who gets left out in the cold? It turns out that Europe and Latin America get wined and dined, while Sub-Saharan Africa has gotten snubbed. So, for that matter, has Southeast Asia.
Pope Francis has firmly pronounced that climate change is a threat to the world’s poor in a long-awaited encyclical released on Thursday. The Pope is the religious leader of more than one billion Catholics, more than half of whom live in the developing world. But he has addressed the encyclical to “every person who lives on this planet,” Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
Imagine a heavy rainstorm, typical in the wet tropics, falling on an intact hillside forest. The forest’s many levels of leaves and branches act like stacked umbrellas, softening the impact of the intense rain. Trees, shrubs, vines, mosses, and litter shield the soil from the direct impact of the rainfall, while roots act like underground nets holding the soil in place. After the storm has ended, roots and animal burrows transport the fallen water into the earth. At the same time trees pump water back into the sky as clouds, cooling the air and sending moisture downwind. Water also runs off overland feeding streams and rivers.
Just over a year ago, we released our book Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change. To ensure the widest possible distribution, we are now delighted to make the full book available online for free.
On Monday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, aka the Nobel Prize for Economics, to Professor Jean Tirole of the Toulouse School of Economics.