Climate Action Symposia Series: The Role of Research Universities and MIT’s Climate Initiatives

Tue, 20 Oct 2020 18:30:00 GMT

The Climate Action Symposia series aims to advance our community’s understanding and expand our capacity to generate solutions for the urgent global challenge of climate change. The six symposia examine the current state of climate science and policy, as well as pathways for decarbonization of the global economy. We will also look at how universities can and should contribute solutions, including MIT’s efforts under our Plan for Action on Climate Change.

The fifth of MIT’s six Climate Action Symposia, The Role of Research Universities and MIT’s Climate Initiatives, will be held virtually on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. Topics will include:

  • how research universities can help the world deal with the climate crisis;
  • initiatives being developed by MIT to reduce carbon emissions;
  • how you can get involved.

RSVP

Chairs: Paula Hammond and Julie Newman, MIT

Schedule

2:30-2:35 pm Welcome

Speaker:

  • Richard Lester, Associate Provost, MIT

2:35-2:40 pm Setting the stage

Speakers:

  • Paula Hammond, Head, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
  • Julie Newman, Director of Sustainability and Lecturer, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT

2:40-3:20 pm Panel I: The role of research universities

Moderator:

  • Paula Hammond, Head, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Speakers:

  • Melissa Nobles, Dean of School of Humanities Arts and Social Science, MIT
  • John Deutch, Institute Professor Emeritus Department of Chemistry, MIT

3:20-4:00 pm Panel II: MIT’s low-carbon campus and test bed

Moderator:

  • Krystyn Van Vliet, Associate Provost; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering, MIT

Speakers:

  • Joe Higgins, Vice President for Campus Services and Stewardship, MIT
  • Julie Newman, Director of Sustainability and Lecturer, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT

4:00-4:30 pm Reflections on Climate Action at MIT

Speaker:

  • Maria T. Zuber, E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and Vice President for Research, MIT

Questions? Email climatesymposia@mit.edu.

Speaker bios and more will be available at climatesymposia.mit.edu.

A foreign policy for climate

Wed, 07 Oct 2020 15:00:00 GMT

Two former Obama Administration officials discuss how the United States might address climate change with foreign policy measures. They argue for “a full mobilization at home and an unhesitating commitment to leadership abroad” along with a willingness to use American “political capital and economic resources to drive the decarbonization of the global economy.”

RSVP here.

Speakers:
  • John Podesta is the founder and a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for American Progress. Podesta served as counselor to President Barack Obama, where he was responsible for coordinating the administration’s climate policy and initiatives. In 2008, he served as co-chair of President Obama’s transition team. He was a member of the U.N. Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Podesta previously served as White House chief of staff to President William J. Clinton. He chaired Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president in 2016.
  • Todd Stern is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution concentrating on climate change. Stern served from January 2009 until April 2016, as the special envoy for climate change at the Department of State. He was President Obama’s chief climate negotiator, leading the U.S. effort in negotiating the Paris Agreement and in all bilateral and multilateral climate negotiations in the seven years leading up to Paris. Stern also participated in the development of U.S. domestic climate and clean energy policy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Moderators
  • William Antholis serves as director and CEO of the Miller Center. Immediately prior, he was managing director at The Brookings Institution, and from 1995 to 1999 he served in government. At the White House, he was director of international economic affairs on the staff of the National Security Council and National Economic Council, where he served as the chief staff person for the G8 Summits in 1997 and 1998. Antholis is the author of Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go Global and, with Strobe Talbot, Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming.
  • Deborah Lawrence is a professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on the links between tropical deforestation and climate change. She has spent the past twenty-five years doing field-based research in Indonesia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Cameroon. Professor Lawrence and her students conduct interdisciplinary research with partners in hydrology, atmospheric science, economics, anthropology, ethics, engineering, and law to understand the drivers and consequences of land use change. This work has gained her a Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Jefferson Science Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fulbright Scholarship.

Interior’s Royalty Cuts: Thoughtful Policy or Industry Giveaway?

Tue, 06 Oct 2020 18:00:00 GMT

  • House Natural Resources Committee
    Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee
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Forum: The Melting Arctic: Climate Change Impacts on People and Wildlife

Mon, 05 Oct 2020 18:00:00 GMT

You’ve seen the headlines. Ice in the Arctic is melting at record rates and warming at twice the global average – and the Trump administration continues to hand over control of the Arctic to Big Oil. We’re hosting a forum on Monday, October 5, to learn how the higher temperatures are wreaking havoc on wildlife, fisheries and humans who have call the Arctic home for generations.

  • House Natural Resources Committee
    Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Water, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee
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Creating a Climate Resilient America: Strengthening the U.S. Financial System and Expanding Economic Opportunity

Thu, 01 Oct 2020 17:30:00 GMT

This hearing will explore the ways that the climate crisis exacerbates economic harm and injustice, and identify strategies to strengthen financial systems and enhance access to capital to support community resilience and economic recovery.

Witnesses:
  • Rostin Behnam, Commissioner, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). As sponsor of the CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC), Commissioner Behnam engages leading market experts and public consumer groups on issues relating to evolving market structures and movement of risk across clearinghouses, exchanges, intermediaries, market makers, and end-users. Commissioner Behnam convened the Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee to provide a report to the MRAC on climate-related financial and market risks.
  • Joanna Syroka, Senior Underwriter and Director of New Markets, Fermat Capital Management. Dr. Syroka has extensive experience in structuring and placing risk transfer programs in both emerging and developed markets. Prior to joining Fermat Capital in 2017, she was the director of research & development at African Risk Capacity (ARC), Africa’s first sovereign insurance pool, which she helped design and establish in 2012. At ARC, she led the development of their parametric drought, flood, cyclone, pandemic, and climate insurance initiatives.
  • Maggie Monast, Director of Working Lands, Environmental Defense Fund. Monast works with farmers, food companies, agricultural organizations, and others to create an agricultural system that drives climate stability, clean water, and food security. Specifically, Monast works to quantify the farm financial impacts of conservation practice adoption, collaborates with major corporations to develop sustainability initiatives, and develops innovative financial incentives to advance sustainable agriculture.
  • Rich Powell, Executive Director, ClearPath. Powell leads ClearPath, whose mission is to develop and advance conservative policies that accelerate clean energy innovation. Rich served as a member of the 2019 Advisory Committee to the Export Import Bank of the United States. He is also on the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center’s Advisory Group.

H.R. 5986, To restore, reaffirm, and reconcile environmental justice and civil rights, provide for the establishment of the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice Compliance and Enforcement, and for other purposes.“Environmental Justice for

Thu, 01 Oct 2020 16:00:00 GMT

Text of HR 5986

Witnesses
  • Dr. Robert Bullard Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University and Father of environmental justice
  • Dr. Mildred McLain Co-founder and Executive Director of the Harambee House/Citizens for Environmental Justice.
  • Andrea Vidaurre Co-Founder of People’s Collective for Environmental Justice
  • Derrick Hollie (Minority Witness) President, Reaching America

Generating Equity: Improving Clean Energy Access and Affordability

Thu, 01 Oct 2020 14:00:00 GMT

Challenges and Successes of Conservation Programs in 2020

Thu, 01 Oct 2020 14:00:00 GMT

Witnesses

Panel One
  • Kevin D. Norton Acting Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington, D.C.
Panel Two
  • Tim Palmer President, National Association of Conservation Districts, Truro, IA
  • Steve Patterson Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Communications and Government Affairs, Southern States Cooperative, Henrico, VA
  • Dr. Karen Waldrop Chief Conservation Officer, Ducks Unlimited, Memphis, TN
  • Johnathan Coppess Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • House Agriculture Committee
    Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee 1300 Longworth
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Coping with Compound Crises: Extreme Weather, Social Injustice, and a Global Pandemic

Wed, 30 Sep 2020 15:30:00 GMT

Opening Statements Witnesses
  • Dr. Roxane Cohen Silver, Professor of Psychological Science, Medicine, and Public Health, University of California, Irvine
  • Dr. Samantha Montano, Assistant Professor of Emergency Management, Massachusetts Maritime Academy
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
    Environment Subcommittee
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The 2020 Wildfire Year: Response and Recovery Efforts

Thu, 24 Sep 2020 17:00:00 GMT

Witness:

  • John Phipps, Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC
  • House Agriculture Committee
    Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee
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