Carbon emissions have recently been a hot topic of conversation both at Colgate and around the world. As the University engages in campus-wide conversations regarding carbon neutrality and carbon offsets, international reports on climate change emphasize the importance of mitigating carbon emissions.
On November 23, 2018, the US government released a National Climate Assessment Report. The scientific report, which was issued by 13 federal agencies, warned of the consequences of climate change. In addition to environmental degradation and threats to marginalized communities, America’s economy could be reduced by as much as 10% by the end of the century.
This report is one of many to have been recently released. In October, the IPCC released a report about an impending climate crisis, advising nations to take urgent action in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5℃. Less than two months later, the UN released its annual Emissions Gap Report to check on how well countries are doing at reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Alarmingly, global emissions currently are not on track to limit warming to 2℃.
While international communities are highlighting the importance of mitigating carbon emissions, Colgate is taking responsibility for its carbon footprint and is on track to become carbon neutral in 2019.
For students interested in learning about national climate assessments, four Colgate alumni who have worked on the National Climate Assessment Report will be on campus from Thursday, January 31 to Friday, February 1. The panelists are Ellen Mecray ’90, Director, Eastern Regional Climate Services, Center for Weather and Climate, U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA; David Reidmiller ’01, Director, National Climate Assessment at the U.S. Global Change Research Program; Dan Barrie ’05, Program Manager with NOAA’s Climate Program Office and NOAA representative to USGCRP National Climate Assessment Steering Committee; and Natalie Bennett ’16, Adaptation and Assessment Analyst at the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
On Thursday evening, they will present The Climate Dilemma: Findings, Impacts, and Actions from the Fourth National Climate Assessment.
On Friday afternoon, they will present The Fourth National Climate Assessment: the Story behind the Report from Four Colgate Alumni.