Category: Georgetown Faces

Title: Uwe S. Brandes

Date Published: January 21, 2020

Professor Brandes stands in front of the Regents Building smiling

“We can reconcile our relationship to each other and to the world every single day.

What I find amazing about our global ambition to improve our lives by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is that each of us can objectively measure our production of emissions every single day.

Empowered by data, we can assess the impact of lifestyle choices we make as individuals. By measuring this impact we can proactively manage the improvement of our performance over time. We can do this as individuals, as households, as commuters, as occupiers of a building, as members of a floor in a dorm, as an academic school, as a campus, or as a neighborhood, a city or a metropolitan region. 

I had the honor of serving on a faculty committee whose task was to interpret Pope Francis’ Laudato Si in the context of Georgetown’s campus operations.  

Given my background as an urban planner, my contribution was to identify ideas that  leverage our lives on campus to positively impact surrounding communities and urban systems.

Whether we spend most of our time on the Hilltop, the Law Center, the School of Continuing Studies or in Doha, each of us can find ways to connect our daily lifestyle choices to improve the communities and systems that surround and support us.

As chair of the District of Columbia Commission on Climate Change and Resilience, I’m honored to serve all of the citizens of my hometown. Our city has legally mandated a 30-year journey to become carbon neutral by 2050.  To me, this journey starts with many small steps and an overarching opportunity to rethink the relationships we cultivate with one another every day and the communities we choose to build collectively over time.  We can do this!”