Aug. 5

Conservation & Sustainability

Humans are changing the planet in unprecedented ways. Natural resources are being utilized at record levels to support exponential population growth, a faltering food system and a struggling global economy. Washington Post Live welcomed two internationally recognized authorities on climate change – former president of Ireland Mary Robinson and former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres – to examine what is being done to address human impact on the natural environment and the disproportionate burden placed on vulnerable populations worldwide. Following their conversation, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will talk about preparing a major U.S. city for the effects of global warming and more extreme weather and harnessing technology to ensure a sustainable future. The Washington Post’s Frances Stead Sellers will moderate both discussions with a focus on the ways conservation and sustainability spur innovation.
In a segment presented by Walton Family Foundation, landscape architect Kate Orff, a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and contributor to, described how restoration works, why we need to take action now and how, if we act, there is more hope than ever for our future coast.

Former president of Ireland Mary Robinson hopeful Joe Biden will reenter Paris Agreement if elected

The U.S. will leave the Paris Agreement one day after 2020 presidential election. Former president of Ireland Mary Robinson said it doesn’t help to have the leader of the U.S. step back from the agreement, but she said many states, cities and businesses in the country say they’re still in. She’s also hopeful the former vice president Joe Biden will reenter the agreement if he’s elected.
  • Aug 5, 2020

Christiana Figueres says the U.S. needs to invest more in clean tech to stay competitive

Former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres say the U.S. has been slow to invest in clean technologies, but if it’s not careful, it could fall behind countries like China. ‘ I think the United States should be very concerned because if China continues the leadership it already has in all of this clean tech, the U.S. is just going to be wipe off the table, with respect to its competitiveness in all of this clean tech. The U.S. should be very worried.’
  • Aug 5, 2020

Former president of Ireland Mary Robinson: ‘Women-led governments are doing better’

Former president of Ireland Mary Robinson said one of the lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic is that ‘government and leadership matter,’ and commended the leadership of women in this crisis. ‘It has been very evident that women-led governments are doing better.’
  • Aug 5, 2020

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti says 1-in-4 jobs in the city is related to green industries

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says one-in-four jobs they’ve added in the city is related to green industries, and he urges other mayors not to wait and invest early in these initiatives. ‘My push to all my fellow mayors is don’t be left behind. There are a lot of jobs in this.’
  • Aug 5, 2020

Mayor Eric Garcetti, co-chair on Biden’s VP selection committee, shares what Biden is looking for

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was one of four co-chairs on Joe Biden’s vice presidential selection committee. He says Biden is looking for a running mate who can give him the ‘best advice before the biggest decisions, who can really be his partner and who can be deployed whether on Capitol Hill or to a foreign capital.’
  • Aug 5, 2020
Mary Robinson

Former president of Ireland

Former president Robinson has been a longtime activist on behalf of conservation and fighting climate change, both while she was President of Ireland, and in several roles at the United Nations. She has established a foundation focused on climate justice – “a centre for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle to secure global justice for those people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change who are usually forgotten – the poor, the disempowered and the marginalized across the world.” We’ll ask her what she believes needs to be done in America, Europe, and around the world to address the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable populations.
Christiana Figueres

Former executive secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016, where she oversaw the delivery of the historic Paris Agreement. Today she is the co-founder of Global Optimism, co-host of the podcast “Outrage & Optimism” and is the co-author of the recently published book, “The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles, California

Eric Garcetti is a fourth-generation Angeleno and the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley — the son of public servants and the grandson and great-grandson of immigrants from Mexico and Eastern Europe — Mayor Garcetti’s life has been shaped by a deep commitment to the core values of justice, dignity, and equality for all people.
Frances Stead Sellers

The Washington Post

Content from Walton Family Foundation

Our Future Coast

The coast of Louisiana is an environmental and cultural treasure; it is also home to the largest funded restoration project in the world. By reconnecting the Mississippi River to its coastal wetlands, experts believe the river can once again carry sediment that will nourish the land that we are losing and quite literally help to rebuild some - but not all - of what has been taken by the sea. Scientists, advocates, and business leaders have worked for decades to make this possible. Together, they believe that this is the moment to take practical action to save the coast, while restoration efforts still have a real chance to keep up with rising seas in the coming decades. Landscape architect Kate Orff, a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and contributor to, will describe how restoration works, why we need to take action now and how, if we act, there is more hope than ever for our future coast.
  • Aug 5, 2020
Kate Orff

Founder and Principal, SCAPE

Kate Orff, RLA, FASLA, is the Founding Principal of SCAPE. She focuses on retooling the practice of landscape architecture relative to the uncertainty of climate change and creating spaces to foster social life, which she has explored through publications, activism, research, and projects. She is known for leading complex, creative, and collaborative work processes that advance broad environmental and social prerogatives. In 2019, Kate was elevated to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Council of Fellows—one of the highest honored bestowed on landscape architects practicing in the U.S. Kate was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2017, the first given in the field of landscape architecture. In 2019, she accepted a National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum, on behalf of SCAPE, and was named a Hero of the Harbor by the Waterfront Alliance. She was a 2012 United States Artist Fellow, dubbed an Elle Magazine “Planet Fixer,” and has been profiled and interviewed extensively for publications including The New York Times, The Economist, National Geographic, and more. Kate graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia with Distinction and earned a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She is also the Director of the Urban Design Program, Co-Director of the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes (CRCL), and Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP).
Tegan Wendland

Lead Coastal Reporter, NPR’s WWNO in New Orleans

Tegan came to WWNO in 2015 to report coastal news. In this role she has covered a wide range of issues and subjects related to coastal land loss, coastal restoration, and the culture and economy of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Tegan is a recipient of Metcalf and CUNY Resilience reporting fellowships. Her work has aired on national programs including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Science Friday, Marketplace, Here & Now, Planet Money and Reveal. She also served as interim News Director at WWNO from 2017-2019. Tegan has a master’s degree in Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has previously worked for NPR stations in the Midwest and WRKF in Baton Rouge.
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