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University of Maryland to Jointly Host Climate Action 2016 Summit in May, Will Convene Global Leaders to Shift Conversation from Commitment to Action

December 5, 2015

Graham Binder 301-405-4076

UMD will help lead multi-sector approach to catalyze a sustainable future  

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland today announced a landmark event in the history of climate engagement with its co-hosting of Climate Action 2016: Catalyzing a Sustainable Future, a global summit to be held at the College Park campus and in downtown Washington, D.C., in May 2016. In the wake of the historic COP21 conference in Paris – where stakes have risen to new heights in an effort to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions – the University will jointly convene global, multi-sector leaders to facilitate a translation of commitment
to implementation of applicable, actionable solutions. 

Effective implementation requires participation from a variety of key players within finance, academia, government and business, achieved through a top-down and bottom-up, coalitional approach to climate action. To facilitate maximum success, seven founding partners – including the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the Compact of Mayors and Michael Bloomberg, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, We Mean Business and the University – will jointly sponsor the summit, each representing key sectors and stakeholders necessary to help usher in a new climate regime. 

Climate Action 2016 will focus on further developing methodologies in six key areas to establish a sustained path towards global climate implementation. In addition to addressing crosscutting issues of public and private financing, the six areas include:

  • City and sub-national implementation
  • Implementing resilience/adaptation
  • Energy
  • Climate-smart land use
  • Transport
  • Analysis and tools to support decision-making

The summit advances the University’s efforts to progress as the central United States hub for climate change policy. Working in a cross-disciplinary fashion across multiple schools and departments, the University is on a path to create a network of models for addressing climate change at the local, state and national levels. Additional long tail strategies are deployment of graduates into a pipeline of public policy jobs within clean energy, climate smart development, climate implementation financing, advocacy and policymaking, as well as providing other leading research institutions with the tools to support climate action. The University of Maryland intends to be a key driver of change. 

“The work that will take place here may begin to change local climate management around the world,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “We will offer our policy and scientific expertise in service to this vital effort.”

“COP21 has set the stage for a momentous shift in the worldwide approach to carbon reduction and has given birth to a new climate regime,” said Robert Orr, Dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. “What comes after Paris is critically important. The implementation, actionable stage will soon be upon us, and the University of Maryland and its partners look forward to mapping the playbook for future global sustainability.”

Day one of Climate Action 2016, held at the College Park campus, will focus on convening working groups for breakout sessions on near-term climate implementation actions and long-term implementation needs. Day two, held in downtown Washington, D.C., at the Mayflower Hotel, will drive high-level engagement with global figures addressing plenary sessions on how to deliver on climate commitments, accelerate ambition and embed the transformation agenda across the globe in government, key sectors and among the general population. Registration will open in early 2016, with a series of issued invitations.