February 14, 2020
Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. But international deals like the Paris Agreement are ultimately only as good as the actions taken by local communities and the private sector. This talk reviews the evolution of international climate negotiations over the past 30+ years, looks at why a global consensus has been so elusive, and points to the increasingly important roles played by state and local actors in addressing the global climate crisis.
Tim Lattimer has worked at the intersection of environment and development at local, regional, and international levels in a career spanning more than 35 years in both the public and private sectors. As a career diplomat for 25 years with the U.S. Department of State, Tim focused on environmental and economic development issues in overseas postings to Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Argentina, and the Philippines. His domestic assignments in the United States included the U.S. Mission to the UN in New York and multiple roles in the State Department's Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science (OES). As Deputy Director and Acting Director of the OES Bureau's climate change office, Tim was part of the team that concluded the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Tim won the State Department’s prestigious 2016 “Frank E. Loy Award for Environmental Diplomacy.” Shortly after his September 2017 retirement from the Foreign Service, he returned to the OES climate change office as a Senior Advisor.
From 1983 to 1994, he worked as an environmental planner and project manager in Southern California. This included eight years of managing environmental impact assessments with private-sector planning and engineering firms and two years with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the water wholesaler for a region of 18 million people. Tim holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Environmental Studies, both from California State University, Fullerton. He resides in Columbia, Maryland, where he serves as Chair of the Columbia Association’s Climate Change & Sustainability Advisory Committee and volunteers with several advocacy groups to promote stronger state and local action on climate change.