(Olympia, Wash.) Building on the momentum of the recent climate conference in Paris, and with encouragement from Governor Jay Inslee, The Evergreen State College will convene policy makers, industry leaders, research and advocacy groups together with students, faculty, staff and the greater community on January 13 for a day of talks on climate change and regional solutions.
The symposium, entitled “It’s Happening. What Now? Climate Change Research and Action in Washington State,” features Nobel Prize honoree John Byrne, Ph.D. as its keynote speaker. The event takes place at the college’s main campus at 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW in Olympia.
The day starts at Evergreen’s Longhouse Education and Cultural Center with panel discussions including representatives from the WA Ocean Acidification Center, the UW Climate Impacts Group, the Pacific Shellfish Institute, the Thurston Climate Action Team and other organizations. Topics include Current Research on Regional Impacts – 10-11 a.m.; Carbon Tax and Cap Policies – 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.; and Regional Solutions-based Action – 1-2 p.m. Rhys Roth, the director of Evergreen’s Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, will speak from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Communications Building Recital Hall. Dr. Byrne’s talk will follow at 4 p.m.
John Byrne is director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) and distinguished professor of energy and climate change policy at the University of Delaware. He chairs the Board of the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment (FREE), an international organization that promotes energy, water and materials conservation; renewable energy use; environmental resilience and sustainable livelihoods. He has also contributed to the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1992 and shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Panel’s authors and review editors.
According to Evergreen’s Director of Sustainability and the event’s organizer, Scott Morgan, Governor Jay Inslee suggested the idea of a climate change symposium to new Evergreen President George Bridges, who took up the task to coincide with the beginning of the 2016 legislative session.
Bridges said he was happy to showcase Evergreen’s commitment to sustainability in this way, in the second quarter of his presidency. “Evergreen has long been a leader in all things environmental – from organic farming to sustainable infrastructure,” said Bridges, “and when the governor discussed holding a climate change event on campus, I jumped at the opportunity. It seemed like a natural way to follow up and regionalize the discussions started at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.”
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is $2. Event details are available at evergreen.edu/sustainability/climatejan2016.