Fairfield University hosting forum about climate policy in Connecticut and the U.S.


 

Panel includes State Senator John McKinney

The world's most prominent scientists report there is only a limited amount of time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before very serious climate change becomes inevitable. The state of Connecticut has an ambitious goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but the United States does not, according to environmental scholar David Downie, Ph. D., director of Fairfield University's Program on the Environment and associate professor of Politics. Those issues will be discussed in a forum hosted by Fairfield University on Thursday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. in the Barone Campus Center's Oak Room, on the Fairfield campus. Entitled, "Critical Days: Setting Priorities for Connecticut and U.S. Climate Policy," the event is free and open to the public.

A panel of local, state and federal policy experts, led by State Senator John McKinney, of Fairfield, will discuss current local, state and national climate policy options. Among the other experts are Robert Wall, director of energy market initiatives for the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund; and Dr. Downie, the former Director of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change who joined the Fairfield faculty last fall after teaching at Columbia University for 14 years. Senator McKinney, who is the State Senate Minority Leader, is an influential leader in the Connecticut legislature and a key figure in passage of the state's climate policy. He and other panelists will listen to University Environment Program students and others express their views on what the policy priorities should be for Connecticut and the United States. Dr. Downie said, "This is an opportunity for our students to get their voices heard."

The event is the same day as the "National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions" (http://nationalteachin.org). Throughout the country, universities, high schools, faith groups and civic organizations will be hosting roundtables on February 5 to engage Americans in a dialogue about the environmental perils facing the planet.

Dr. Downie said the "National Teach-In" provides "a salient opportunity" to hold climate-related events such as this one at Fairfield.

The "National Teach-In" is one in a series of climate events sponsored by different groups this year in light of the coming debates in Congress on energy and climate policy and the global negotiations scheduled to conclude in Copenhagen in December. The larger aim of the "National Teach-In" is to ignite a grassroots movement and an intergenerational dialogue about global warming.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 23, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 190