Meeting the Climate Challenge


When delegates from more than 190 countries met in Paris in November for the twenty-first Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), nine Emory undergraduate students and two faculty members were there.

Their presence at the landmark event reinforced an announcement by Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Claire Sterk pledging University-wide support for Climate@Emory, a recently launched initiative that advances scholarship, teaching, partnership, and engagement around climate change at Emory and beyond.

“Global climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today,” Sterk says. “As a university dedicated to educating future leaders, Emory has an opportunity to harness the expertise of our faculty and the
talents of our student body to make a difference in this area.”

“Our students and faculty already are making major contributions on this front,” says Daniel Rochberg, chief strategy officer for the initiative and an instructor in the Department of Environmental Health at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health and in Emory College’s Department of Environmental Sciences—two of six Emory schools that are part of the effort.

New support for Climate@Emory includes seed funding of approximately $125,000, a major boost in funding for the initiative, which launched in spring 2014. During the past year, the initiative secured accreditation as an official observer to the UN climate negotiations, faculty participated in a series of White House roundtables on climate change and health, and Emory researchers published key findings on topics ranging from the physics of melting icebergs to the impact of climate change on China’s development trajectory. 

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