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Faculty Members to Speak in Paris Alongside Climate Change Talks

Georgetown at COP 21

Nov. 30, 2015 – Two Georgetown faculty members speak in Paris alongside events of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP 21. The talks began today and run through Dec. 11.

Joanna Lewis is an associate professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) at the School of Foreign Service, and Vicki Arroyo is executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law. The center recently released a report on six northeast and mid-Atlantic jurisdictions working together toward achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution from the transportation sector.

See Lewis' Five Things to Know About the Climate Paris Talks. 

The Georgetown delegation also includes two Georgetown undergraduates, Norah Berk (SFS ’16) and Alexandra Donovan (SFS ’17), as well as several state government officials who will participate in some of the events below. The faculty members will speak in events alongside the official negotiations while tracking the negotiations closely. 

Challenges and Opportunities in China-US Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change

Tuesday, Dec. 1,  5 - 7:30 p.m. 

Location: China Pavillion, Le Bourget conference site (Blue Zone)

Joanna Lewis

The discussion will focus on enhancing the understanding of each country’s emission reduction actions, advancing the China-U.S. Joint Announcement on Climate Change, and further strengthening cooperation between the U.S. and China in the area of climate change and energy. Speakers include experts from China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy; China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Tsinghua University; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; the Energy Foundation, and Joanna Lewis from Georgetown University.

The Subnational (State and Provincial) Foundation for Action

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Location: Civil Society Space (Green Zone), Salle 1

As national delegations pledge climate commitments in Paris, U.S. states and Canadian provinces are already taking action to implement these commitments.  Subnational actions span all sectors of the economy, and take the form of emissions reduction goals, clean vehicles programs, limits on pollution from power plants and more.  States and provinces are innovating and collaborating to make these programs successful.

State and provincial leaders will speak about their commitments to reducing GHG emissions and preparing for climate change; the role that national policy plays in promoting further subnational action; the environmental, economic, and social benefits these programs have achieved; and the reasons to believe these efforts will continue.

Sponsor: Georgetown Climate Center. Speakers include Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont; Premier Greg Selinger, Manitoba; Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change David Heurtel;Secretary Matt Rodriquez, California EPA; and Chris Davis, senior advisor, Office of Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State.

Vicki Arroyo of the Georgetown Climate Center will moderate.Vicki Arroyo

Subnational Cooperation on Clean, Resilient Transportation

Thursday, Dec. 10, 3 - 4:30 p.m.

Official UN side event – Observer Room 3, Le Bourget conference site (Blue Zone)

Achieving our climate goals will require conversion of the transportation fleet to zero or near zero emission vehicles, use of cleaner fuels, and support for non-motorized travel.  California and other states have joined together to set aggressive targets and to collaborate on policies to accelerate this conversion.

Panelists will discuss technical and policy issues that are being addressed and unveil a new initiative. Cosponsored by the Georgetown Climate Center and the Climate Action Reserve. Speakers include Fran Pavley, California State Senator; Deb Markowitz, Secretary, Agency for Natural Resources, Vermont; Glenn Schmidt of BMW; Helen Burt of PG&E. Gary Gero of the Climate Action Reserve will moderate.

U.S. State Actions to Achieve Significant GHG Reduction

Thursday, Dec. 10, 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.

U.S. Center Pavilion – U.S. Center Stage. Le Bourget conference site (Blue Zone)

While opponents of climate action argue that U.S. commitments are unattainable or unlikely to be maintained, states are taking action to make these reductions happen.  Some are setting ambitious targets of their own, others are implementing new policies to cap emissions, still others are making striking commitments to the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency.  State officials will speak about their states’ commitments to reducing GHG emissions, the role that federal policy plays in promoting further state action, and reasons to believe these efforts will continue.  Sponsor: Georgetown Climate Center. Speakers include White House CEQ Chair Christy Goldfuss; Deb Markowitz, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resource; Mary Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board; Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York State; Chris Davis, Senior Advisor, Office of Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State; Former Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado.

Vicki Arroyo of the Georgetown Climate Center will moderate.

For more information, please contact Joanna Lewis (Joanna.Lewis@georgetown.edu) or Vicki Arroyo (arroyo@law.georgetown.edu).