“I am excited because it’s a period where everything seems possible.”

“Intelligence can win.”  Laurence Tubiana

Laurence Tubiana made headlines recently as France’s top climate change envoy at the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris. Tubiana worked tirelessly for 18 months before the conference to ensure a positive outcome–meeting with world leaders before the conference and providing input on everything from lighting to the food that was served. Her contributions to the landmark accord should not be under-estimated. Known for her frankness and diplomatic skills, she quipped: “Climate change is about ecosystems; Climate change negotiations are about ego-systems.” “She’s added waves of energy and imagination to the process,” says Michael Jacobs, a climate adviser to former UK prime minister Gordon Brown who worked with Tubiana at the Paris-based think tank, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI).

Tubiana’s imagination extends to her dress. The NYTimes recently described her look as “chic and charming, with a touch of bohemian to her personal style, which runs from perfectly cut diplomats’ suits to designer jeans, high-heeled blue suede boots and chunky silver necklaces collected from her travels to places like North Africa and New Delhi.” Note the beautifully cut tuxedo-style one in some of the photos. Other core elements of her look include he white hair, skinny trousers and sneakers. Tubiana wore different colored sneakers each day of the Paris Conference–ideal footwear for scurrying between world leaders during the conference.


Tubiana is professor and director of the Sustainable Development Center at Sciences Po Paris and has an appointment at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Since September 2012, she has served as co-chair of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)’s Leadership Council and co-chairs the SDSN working group on Deep Decarbonization Pathways.

Michel Colombier, research director at IDDRI, reports: “she knows the entire world.” “She has an incredible capacity for getting people together and finding a solution,” Colombier attributes this to an unprepossessing demeanour that disguises the fact that “she is someone who knows what she wants and usually gets it.”


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3 Responses to Laurence Tubiana

  1. Bluemim says:

    Great website! I would add:

    Susan Sontag
    Joan Didion
    Jhumpa Lahiri
    Arundhati Roy
    Donna Tartt
    Erykah Badu
    Simone de Beauvoir
    Patti Smith

  2. Thank you for these suggestions! Am working on Didion.

  3. Sw says:

    Yes, Susan Sontag please!