With the adoption of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, we have an unprecedented opportunity to address global energy, environment, and development challenges. Responding to this opportunity requires practical and robust solutions that are grounded in research and empirical analysis. In turn, we must rapidly develop new assessment techniques that are linked to the needs of decision makers if we are to achieve transformational change. At the Center for Global Sustainability, our focus on multi-stakeholder approaches spurs action on these challenges, supported by high-quality research insight throughout the design and implementation of solutions. Find out more about the Center.
The University of Maryland, organized by CGS and the UMD Global Sustainability Initiative, had a strong presence at this year’s 23rd meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Engagements across the two weeks included a delegation of faculty and students, two panel events, and an exhibit space. CGS director Nate Hultman, who led the UMD delegation, noted that “this COP was focused on how the international community will develop procedures to implement the Paris Agreement, including provisions on reporting and transparency, and also on the next steps for the process to assess progress toward national goals. Our presence at the COP was focused on how we as a research and educational institution can support those processes and develop future leaders.”
On October 27, The Center for Global Sustainability co-sponsored a screening of “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” and an interactive panel on how students can take action to address the climate crisis based on the challenges portrayed in the film.
The Center for Global Sustainability and School of Public Policy recently hosted Ambassador Rachmat Witoelar, Indonesian President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, for a special event to discuss current issues facing Indonesia, specifically deforestation, and potential ways to achieve sustainable economic growth and meet commitments under the Paris Agreement.
As US states and territories grapple with rebuilding costs and the need for enhanced resilience in the wake of extreme weather events, the Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) released a report today on “Climate Change Risk and the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System.” This analysis recommends specific actions the State of Maryland could take to more fully account for climate related risks facing its state pension system.
Drawing on research on climate-related investment risks, opportunities, and responsibilities, the report explores the extent to which the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System (SRPS) incorporates such risks in its investment planning and other practices. The report further describes best practices for managing institutional investment portfolios in the face of climate change and offers recommendations for how Maryland SRPS can incorporate climate risk and opportunity into its operations.
For the fall 2017 inaugural Global Sustainability Forum, the Center for Global Sustainability welcomed Dr. Katja Biedenkopf, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Leuven in Belgium, who presented her work on policy diffusion, infusion, and the linkages within polycentric carbon pricing governance.
Dr. Biedenkopf opened her discussion with a question: “How and why do policies, policy-makers and non-state actors interact to ratchet up global climate mitigation ambition to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system?”
Energy planning and policymaking require careful balancing of multiple objectives, such as economic growth, social impact, and environmental sustainability. But fossil-fuel based energy is a leading cause of climate change as well. How can these varied concerns be addressed? What trends of energy production and consumption can we expect in the future? What will be the socio-economic impacts of transition towards low-carbon systems?
To discuss these questions and many more, energy modelers from all over the world gathered at the University of Maryland campus for the 36th edition of the International Energy Workshop. The IEW is the one of the world’s leading conferences for the energy modeling research community.
April 22, 2017 marked 47 years since the first Earth Day was celebrated across the United States. In the decades since, Earth Day has transformed into a widely-embraced annual event, observed by over one billion people globally.
The Center for Global Sustainability hosted a panel in Stamp Student Union on April 20 that attempted to understand what it will take to achieve continued and meaningful progress toward sustainable development, given the current political reality. The Environmental, International Development, and International Security and Economic Policy Councils at the School of Public Policy cosponsored the event.
Distinguished University of Maryland physics professor Ellen Williams presented a Global Sustainability Forum on April 25 discussing her ARPA-E concerning the interface between policy and technology.
The Center for Global Sustainability co-sponsored a career practitioner panel with the School of Public Policy Environmental Council and the Office of Career Services and Alumni Relations on April 11 in order to provide an opportunity for professionals to share their experiences with undergraduate and graduate students.
The panel included Cara Marcy, Renewable Electricity Analyst with the U.S. Energy Information Administration; James McGarry, Maryland and D.C. Policy Director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network; and Andrew Reighart, an economist with the Environmental Protection Agency.