UVA’s Environmental Resilience Institute to hold events on meeting 2030, 2050 emission reduction goals

local governments in the area as well as the University of Virginia have set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. Tomorrow, the Environmental Resilience Institute at UVA begins a series of virtual events designed to help connect many of the pieces together. Karen McGlathery is the director of ERI.

“We decided to call it the Climate Ambition Summit because we have ambitious goals that we need to reach by 2050 if we’re going to have any chance of bending the curve with regard to climate change and climate warming,” McGlathery said. 

At 1:30 p.m. UVA Provost Liz Magill will interview Environmental Sciences Professor Scott Doney on what’s been learned in the last five years since the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Frontiers of Climate Science is essentially what we’re calling it,” McGlathery said. “Essentially what’s happened in the last five years in terms of climate research that can really help us develop realistic strategies to address climate change both in terms of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere but also taking it out of the atmosphere.” 

The next event on Friday at 2 p.m. explores Climate Risk and the Opportunity for Private CapitalA Climate Justice panel will be held on April 13 at 2 p.m. 

“So we’ll be thinking about [how] every climate change issue is an environmental justice issue so both on the local scale but also on the broader regional and national scale,” McGlathery said. 

The final event in the four-part series is another interview between a top UVA official and an expert in the field.

“The final event we have in the series is a conversation between President Jim Ryan and Dr. Arun Majumdar from Stanford University who was the head of the transition team for President Biden for the Department of Energy,” McGlathery said. “They’re going to be having a conversation about how we can as a society meet these ambitious net-zero carbon goals in the future.”

The events are open to the public and will be recorded, very much in keeping with how our lives have been lived in the past year. McGlathery said there are lessons to be learned from the pandemic.

“What the pandemic has taught us is that it’s possible to come together to address a broad societal issues that’s urgent and that seems almost insurmountable in the beginning, but the success of coming out with a vaccine in such a small time period shows that it’s possible to have a global strategy, to have an actual strategy,” McGlathery said. 

Visit the ERI website to learn more

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the April 5, 2021 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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