Center for Capacity Building is resurrected by Rockefeller Foundation to create new Consortium


Shortly after Andrew Revkin reported in his New York Times’ DotEarth blog that the National Center for Atmospheric Research would be shutting down its Center for Capacity Building, CCB’s director Michael “Mickey” Glantz was approached by the Rockefeller Foundation whose president saw a “perfect fit” between the CCB and Rockefeller’s top priorities.  The new “Consortium for Capacity Building,” to be hosted by Colorado University, will receive an initial $1 million over two years to continue its work in helping poorer nations better cope with the often devastating impacts of climate change.  We are glad to see these efforts supported in the private sector and hope to see the chronic underfunding of laudable efforts such as these corrected in the next administration. 

Post by Anne Polansky  

On August 8, we posted an account of our understanding of the circumstances surrounding the decision by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to terminate its support for the Center for Capacity Building, a $500,000-a-year, three-person operation dedicated to helping countries more disadvantaged than the US to better cope and prepare for the set of challenges that global climatic disruption is imposing on communities across the world.  There was an audible outcry of dissent to the decision, in the climate science and policy community, and, notably, by four Senators—Robert Menendez (D-NJ), John Kerry (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Bob Casey (D-PA). 

Announcement of the new Consortium was made at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative held this week in New York.  Glantz has reported to us that the Clinton Foundation also made strong expressions of interest in his work and accomplishments. 

The Colorado University announcement captures Glantz’s overall reaction (and ours) the best:

“A central feature of the consortium is to foster the notion of climate affairs which encompasses climate science, climate impacts, politics, policy and law, economics and ethics and equity,” said Glantz. “I’m really excited to be able to continue this work.”

The Daily Camera, a Boulder, CO newspaper, covered former President Bill Clinton’s announcement of the Consortium’s creation; he also championed the Rockefeller Foundation grant and gave credit to Hillary Clinton for raising the issue: 

“Hillary called me and said, ‘Bill, this is crazy. We’re getting rid of a half a million dollars of something that affects people in the entire developing world. Surely there is some way through (the Clinton Global Initiative) this thing can be preserved.’ … This thing was defunded in the budget crunch. … I was really upset about it.”  Clinton acknowledged Glantz’s work:  “This Consortium for Capacity Building is really important.  It allows developing countries to use science to forecast and withstand droughts, floods and other climate-related disasters.”

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