Laurence Tubiana

The Speaker

Laurence Tubiana is founder and director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in Paris. She is also professor at Sciences Po Paris and director of the Sustainable Development Center at Sciences Po.

Laurence Tubiana is member of several scientific boards of main research institutions such as IFPRI (International Institute on Food and Policy research) and CIRAD (Centre International de recherches sur l’Agriculture et le Développement), as well as of the Indian Sustainable Development Council and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. She has just joined the Expert Group on climate change, “Breaking the Deadlock”, led by Tony Blair and the Climate Group. She was also member of the Institut de Recherches sur le Développment in France and the IUED in Switzerland.

From 1997 to 2002, she served as senior advisor to the Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, on environmental issues and conducted a number of international negotiations on the environment for the French Government. She was also a member of the “Conseil d’Analyse Economique” in the Prime Minister’s office. In her academic career, she was director of research at the Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) and associate professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique in Montpellier (ENSAM).

Laurence Tubiana has also been an active member of the NGO community and representative of the European NGOs at the World Bank board. She founded and chaired SOLAGRAL a French-based NGO working on international issues. She created the journal “Le Courrier de la Planète”. She has published a number of articles and books on environment, development and international issues. She studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and holds a PhD in economics. Laurence Tubiana is Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.


At the beginning of the 21st century, global public goods such as the fight against climate change, the protection of endangered species and the adoption of a mutually acceptable set of global regulations including trade, labor rights and environmental protection have come to the forefront in all major international and national forums. More globally, sustainable development challenges have come to be shared by all countries, developed and underdeveloped. Yet, the set of international rules, standards and practices, or what can be called the international system of global governance, inherited from institutions and rules put in place during and immediately after World War II, is particularly ill-suited for such challenges. While current governance structures have been largely based on international arrangements and a corpus of international laws developed to deal with cross-border issues among states, current sustainable development challenges and more specifically climate change, point towards collective action problems that involve not only states, but also civil society and private sector organizations. A new deal linking major issues in order to shape a renovated system of sustainable development governance for the 21st century therefore needs to be developed. The lecture will also shed some light on the negotiations on climate change which need to reach a global deal in 2009.

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