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2007 News Releases



CEE alum credited with Nobel Peace Prize work will speak at MIT

Written by:

By Denise Brehm
Civil & Environmental Engineering

CEE alumnus Adil Najam, a lead author on two of the reports that garnered the Nobel Peace Prize for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will speak on campus at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Najam, who earned two S.M. degrees from CEE in 1996 and a Ph.D. from DUSP in 2001, teaches international negotiation and diplomacy at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering there. He is a lead author on the IPCC’s third and fourth climate change assessment reports.

The IPCC is an organization created by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program for the purpose of assessing peer-reviewed, scientific reports about global warming, and issuing its own independent assessment on the validity of those reports.

In a report released earlier this year, Najam and IPCC co-authors, including Professor Ronald Prinn, director of MIT’s Center for Global Change Policy, said there is more than 90 percent certainty that humans are responsible for the rise in Earth’s temperature over the past few decades.

On Oct. 12, the Nobel Committee announced that the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize would be split equally between the IPCC and Al Gore for their efforts to disseminate knowledge about man-made climate change and lay the foundations to counteract it.

“Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming,” said the committee in a press release announcing the prize. “Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming. Whereas in the 1980s global warming seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent.”

“The profound thing is you cannot think of peace and security without thinking of climate change,” Najam told Beth Daley of the Boston Globe in an Oct. 13 article.

Najam and Tariq Banuri, another leading author of IPCC reports, will participate in a panel discussion on the topic, “What Does Climate Change Mean for the Developing World?” The event is sponsored by MIT’s Pakistani student association (PaksMIT) and the MIT South Asia Alumni Association. It will be held in Room 6-120.

Adil Najam