Joy and Edward Frieman Environmental Science Center

AUP Students Participate in Three-Day Climate Action Conference

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On March 29–31, 2019, AUP’s Joy and Edward Frieman Environmental Science Center – in collaboration with alumna Gina Torry ’98, senior advisor to the Nobel Peace Prize Global Programmes, and her husband Joseph Robertson, strategy director of the international grassroots environmental group Citizens’ Climate Lobby ­– produced and directed a conference titled Science Translation for Climate Action.

130 AUP students participated in 28 faculty-led workshops, confronting some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.

The event was a resounding success. Throughout the weekend, 130 AUP students participated in 28 faculty-led workshops, confronting some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. They represented a multitude of disciplines, including economics, environmental science, philosophy, history, business, computer science and politics, and sought innovative solutions to the anthropogenic impacts of climate change. Workshop themes varied from geophysical issues (Arctic ice melt, extreme weather, desertification) and energy strategies (fossil fuels, renewables, nuclear power) to international relations (climate refugees, shared responsibility, intergenerational justice) and sustainability (food production, plastics and waste management, population growth, climate education).

The conference alternated workshops with panel discussions featuring high-profile guests from global policy-establishing institutions. AUP students filled all three Grand Salons in the Combes Student Life Center to question speakers including founders of environmental NGOs, sustainable investment experts, climate lobbyists and carbon footprint consultants. On the last day, students worked together to produce concise summaries of the ideas generated during the workshops. At the close of the conference, a group of passionate students volunteered to participate in a round table, led by Gina Torry, to discuss climate action strategies. The same students have now formed a working group to discuss sustainability initiatives on AUP’s campus.