Michael R. Bloomberg announced May 16 the largest expected convening of Midwest universities focused on mitigating the effects of climate change and moving to a 100% clean-energy economy.
The Midwestern Collegiate Climate Summit will be held in early 2020, bringing together leaders from Midwestern universities, local government and the private sector to drive measurable, local action on climate by leveraging the partnerships, innovations and talent from institutions of higher education. In parallel to the new global commitments made by federal leaders in line with the Paris Agreement, the climate summit will catalyze climate action commitments from all regional leaders and provide a support network to achieve new ambitious goals. Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide support for the operations of the climate summit.
“Universities have a critical role to play in fighting climate change,” Bloomberg said. “And Washington University in St. Louis is a great example — as a hub for cutting edge research, as a key partner for the City of St. Louis, and as home to students who want to put their talents to work to build a better future. This summit will fuel new efforts across the Midwest to cut emissions and protect communities from impacts.”
Washington University will serve as the anchor for the climate summit and the partnership with other higher education institutions throughout the Midwest. In addition to hosting the climate summit, Washington University, through its International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (InCEES), will steer formalizing a high-impact model for regional climate leadership; deploy students and faculty to work beyond the classroom in St. Louis; and disseminate the St. Louis model to other peer institutions, starting with the members of the climate summit.
“Universities have an important role to play in local, regional and national efforts to stop climate change, and Washington University is proud to lead the way,” said Washington University Chancellor-Elect Andrew Martin. “We’re thrilled for the opportunity to work alongside our colleagues throughout the Midwest to develop solutions, create models for leadership, and foster a healthier, more sustainable region for our students, faculty and all Midwesterners. Bloomberg’s support is critical to continue advancing our efforts in the fight against climate change.”
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