University of Maryland Spring 2019 Commencement Speaker Commits $2.3M to Center for Global Sustainability
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The University of Maryland’s (UMD) spring commencement speaker, successful entrepreneur and three-term mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg, granted $2.3 million to UMD’s Center for Global Sustainability to evaluate and analyze current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
As the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, Bloomberg will submit the findings to the United Nations to demonstrate U.S. progress in meeting carbon reduction commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement. As the next installment of America’s Pledge, a climate change initiative aimed at helping America reach its Paris Climate goals, this report will focus on developing and estimating the impact of enhanced and comprehensive U.S. climate policy. The report will be led by UMD's Center for Global Sustainability in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).
“America’s Pledge helps to speed our progress by bringing people together, collecting data, and outlining ways we can do more. The next report will add to that momentum, and the University of Maryland is an important partner in our work,” comments Bloomberg.
Last year’s America’s Pledge report, Fulfilling America’s Pledge was co-led by the Center for Global Sustainability. Working with 55 co-authors, seven institutional partners and using an approach of developing 10 climate action strategies in consultation with climate leaders across the economy, it showed that subnational actors have the potential to reduce emissions by more than 24 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, which can bring the U.S. within striking distance of its 26 percent target. This year’s report will update these estimates and produce an even more comprehensive analysis of subnational potential in the US.
“Bottom-up climate leadership from states, cities, businesses, and universities is where the action is today,” said Robert Orr, dean of the School of Public Policy. “Our Center for Global Sustainability is proud to continue working with Bloomberg Philanthropies on America’s Pledge. Fusing strong data and analytics with political and economic leadership from below has proven to be a powerful and necessary tool to address the climate crisis we face today.”
Nate Hultman, Center for Global Sustainability director and the report’s lead author, notes that “This year, we are at a key global moment where countries around the world will be evaluating how to increase their ambition to address climate change. The America’s Pledge model shows how collaboration and analysis are key to realizing the true potential for climate action. Not only is this possible within the US, but also across other countries where coalitions of the willing can build on existing opportunity and scale up climate action to address real economic, social, and public health concerns stemming from climate change. Our unique and innovative approach does more than aggregate current emissions, it engages leaders to builds confidence among a diverse set of actors that is necessary to spark enhanced collective climate action and squeeze out additional ambition at the national level.”
In 2017, the University of Maryland united with over 1,000 leaders from across the country to reaffirm its continued support of climate action by joining the “We Are Still In” coalition. Under the university’s climate Action Plan 2.0, UMD has already cut emissions by 49 percent since 2005. The State of Maryland has also been a leader in clean energy policy. Just this week Legislature passed a bill putting the state on track for 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, a key policy solution for climate change.
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