Jonathan Pershing

Program Director, Climate & Energy,
World Resources Institute

Dr. Jonathan Pershing is the Director of the Climate, Energy and Pollution Program at the World Resources Institute. He and his group are active in work on domestic and international climate and energy issues, including emissions trading, energy technology and the evolving architecture of domestic and international climate policy. In the US, he has worked at both the state and federal level, serving as the facilitator for the negotiation of the Northeast states’ emissions trading initiative (RGGI), on the Market Advisory Committee for California, as chair of the multi-state emissions registry design effort, testifying before the US Senate on climate policy, and providing input to the design of the US Administration climate programs to officials in the White House, US EPA and the US Department of Energy. In addition, he has served as an advisor to U.S. and multinational companies on the design of business strategies for climate change. Internationally, he has provided regular input to the UN Climate Convention (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), the G8, as well as working on specific climate and energy policy initiatives in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Japan, South Africa and a host of other countries. Prior to his move to WRI, he was Head of the Energy and Environment Division at the International Energy Agency in Paris. During his tenure at the IEA, he served as the agency representative to the negotiations at the UNFCCC and the UNCSD. From 1990 – 1998, Dr Pershing served in the US Department of State, where he was Deputy Director and Science Advisor for the Office of Global Change. Dr. Pershing is the author of several books and numerous articles on climate change, energy, and environmental policy and has served as a Review Editor and Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In addition to lectures around the world, he has taught at American University and the University of Minnesota, and worked in Alaska as a petroleum and mining geologist. Dr. Pershing holds a doctorate in geology and geophysics from the University of Minnesota.