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Lauren Gifford

Colorado State University

Based in

United States
North America

Lauren Gifford is a critical geographer exploring intersections of global climate change policy, conservation, markets and justice. Her work asks how, and by whom, carbon is quantified, standardized and commodified for carbon removal solutions. I have particular expertise in carbon markets and offsets, climate finance, climate tech, and UNFCCC processes.

Lauren is Associate Director of the Soil Carbon Solutions Center at Colorado State University, with an appointment in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. Through 2023 she is also a Research Scientist with the University of Arizona’s School of Geography, Development and Environment, researching Earth system governance, transformations, tipping points, and safe and just Earth system boundaries with the Earth Commission.

Lauren regularly serves as subject-matter-expert in interviews with major media, including the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Washington Post, Al Jazeera English, Business Insider, and others.

Country(ies) of Specialty

United States Peru

Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Net Zero Climate Justice Scientific assessments

How to Connect



Rockström, Johan, et al. “Safe and just Earth system boundaries.” Nature (2023): 1-10.

Obura, David O., et al. “Achieving a Nature- and People-Positive Future.” One Earth, Dec. 2022.

Rammelt, Crelis F., et al. “Impacts of Meeting Minimum Access on Critical Earth Systems amidst the Great Inequality.” Nature Sustainability, Nov. 2022, pp. 1–10. www.nature.com,

Gifford, A, with Luers, A, et al.2022. “Make greenhouse-gas accounting reliable — build interoperable systems.” Nature.

Gifford, A, with Rammelt, C, et al. 2022. “Impacts of Meeting Minimum Access on Critical Earth Systems amidst the Great Inequality.” Under review Nature Sustainability.

Gifford, A, with Gupta, J, et al. 2022. “Conceptualizing Earth system justice.” Under review Nature Sustainability.

Gifford, A, with Gupta J, Liverman, D, et al. 2021. “Reconciling safe planetary targets and planetary justice: Why should social scientists engage with planetary targets?” Earth System Governance.

Gifford, A. 2021. “The AAG’s emissions problem: Achieving carbon neutrality in a post-offset world.” Professional Geographer.

Special issue editors Gifford, A, with Knudson, C. 2020. “Climate finance justice: International perspectives on climate policy, social justice, and capital.” Climatic Change 161, 243–249.

Gifford, A. 2020. “You can’t value what you can’t measure:’ A critical look at forest carbon accounting.” Climatic Change.

Gifford, A, with Whitcraft, A, Becker-Reshef, I, et al. 2019. “No Pixel Left behind: Toward Integrating Earth Observations for Agriculture into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Framework.” Remote Sensing of Environment.