GEOG faculty Laura Duncanson and Catherine Nakalembe recently led panel discussions at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). Duncanson, who uses LIDAR to track carbon emissions from deforestation, participated in the “Monitoring the Lungs of the World from Space” panel. Though excited by commitments to end or reverse deforestation by 2030, she notes that “similar pledges were made in 2014 and we have not seen a decrease in deforestation, to date.” Nakalembe, the Africa Program Director for NASA Harvest, spoke to the needs of developing countries at the “AI for Climate Action” event. Developing countries, who suffer the most from climate change, require significant funding to mitigate damage, adapt, and develop sustainable economies. She notes, however, that past promises have turned up empty and urges for greater transparency and inclusivity in climate talks, citing Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley’s powerful opening speech urging world leaders to “try harder.”
Learn more about what Duncanson, Nakalembe, and other UMD experts had to say in Maryland Today.