Feb. 19, 2016

‘Climate Change and Clean Energy’ panel is Feb. 26

Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), who chairs the New York State Assembly Climate Change Work Group, and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-125th Dist.) will be among several experts at the “Policy and Activism: A Conversation on Climate Change and Clean Energy” panel Friday, Feb. 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Uris Auditorium. It is hosted by the student group KyotoNow! Cornell.

Lara Skinner, associate director of The Worker Institute at Cornell’s ILR School, will provide opening remarks, followed by Robert Howarth, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, speaking on “Paris Climate Talks and 80 Percent-Renewable New York by 2030.” Bruce Monger, lecturer in oceanography, will give concluding remarks.

Discussion topics likely will include activism, policy, science, communications, employment in the climate change era, and how academia intersects climate problems and solutions.

“How can students do more to make sure that humanity will never have to face the worst effects of anthropogenic climate change?” asks organizer Elizabeth Chi ’18, campaign coordinator of KyotoNow! Cornell. “How can we all become climate leaders in our current and future careers, and ensure that the weight of neither the problems nor the solutions of climate change rest on the shoulders of the poor and defenseless?”

Other panelists include Heather Leibowitz, Environment America; Bronte Payne, Environment America; Nick Goldsmith, town of Ithaca sustainability coordinator; Allison Chatrchyan, a senior research associate in the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture; Aubree Keurajian ’15, KyotoNow!; and Lauren Chambliss, communication director of Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

In 2015, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced the formation of the Climate Change Work Group, naming Lifton to the group and Englebright as the group’s lead. Englebright also is chair of the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, which examines policy initiatives for the state in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and modifications to existing laws and regulations to minimize damage from future extreme weather events.

“Climate change has already begun to affect New York state, and future generations will be directly impacted by the decisions we make today,” said Englebright. “This work group will be the vehicle to move our state and our environment into a safer, more sustainable future.”