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Center for Global Sustainability
Director’s Letter

It has been an exciting past few months at the Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) at the University of Maryland. Let me take this opportunity to thank all of our community for your engagement and enthusiasm for the launch of the Center and the Climate Action 2016 summit and forum this past spring. The driving element of the Center will always be this community -- who we are as a group and what we want to do together.

Following the Climate Action 2016 summit, forum, and associated events, we have been focusing on activities that bridge our analytical work and research with the ongoing policy discussion on climate and sustainability goals. We aim to advance this global conversation in new ways – not only driving forward research to advance the field, but also to convene and connect stakeholders in order to inform policy discussion at all levels – local, state, national, and global.   

This news update discusses some of the recent activities here at CGS and the School of Public Policy. We're now looking forward to the UN Climate Conference (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco, where we are co-hosting and organizing a suite of activities to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement. A particular focus for us has been on analytical inputs to support NDC implementation, and highlighting the high-impact research on this topic at UMD. To this end, we're organizing an exhibit at the conference that represents the entire University, featuring contributions in policy-relevant climate research from the UMD community.

Given our collaborative group and the connections we are forging in the global climate, energy and sustainability discussions, we'll continue to build partnerships across the University of Maryland campus and with others in the broader community, including governments at all levels, NGOs, private sector organizations, foundations, and more. By doing so we will develop new and creative approaches to advance and expand research fields that support implementation of global sustainability and climate goals. 

Sincerely,
Nate Hultman

CGS TO CO-CONVENE AT COP22

This year's UN Climate Conference (COP22) will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, from November 7-18, 2016. The University of Maryland is sending faculty, staff, and students in their delegation. CGS will co-convene an official UN side event on November 7 from 16:45-18:15, Advancing (I)NDC Implementation and Ambition: Bridging Research and Practice, with the NewClimate Institute and the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, bringing together experts and practitioners to discuss (I)NDC implementation and ambition in light of wider development benefits and costs.

CGS will also partner with the Council on Arab World Relations with Latin America and the Caribbean (CARLAC) on Nov 10 from 15:00-16:30 on Leveraging lessons from Latin America and the Arab World: Working with the global community for a low-carbon future in the civil society zone.

In addition, CGS will co-host the high-level launch of a new Research For Climate Action (RCA) initiative at the Gulf Cooperation Council pavilion, creating coalitions of partners in universities and research organizations with practitioners and decision-makers the world over to accelerate climate action by advancing research fields, cultivating new analytical and research capacity, and connecting the research and policy communities.

Finally, CGS will host a dynamic exhibit space in the first week of the COP, to feature leading UMD research from a variety of departments and to provide a point of interaction for conference participants on what the University is doing to contribute to the achievement of global goals, such as implementing the Paris Agreement and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. To view the full story, click here.

climatepolicy.net: Advancing (I)NDC implementation & ambition: bridging research & practice
JOIN THE LIVE STREAM OF THE CGS SIDE EVENT AT COP22 ON 7 NOV 2016.

BAN KI-MOON: THE DO GOOD GENERATION

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talked extensively about climate change and sustainable development issues during his visit to UMD this past October for the “Do Good Generation” event. UMD took this opportunity during the Secretary-General’s visit to bestow an honorary doctorate degree in public service to Ban Ki-moon, for his decade in leadership addressing these global challenges. In response, Ban said that the University was “[...] setting a new standard in philanthropy, leadership for [its] young people.” Read more here.

School of Public Policy hosts Inter-University climate negotiation simulation

The seventh annual Inter-University Climate Change Negotiation Simulation (ICCN) drew students from across the region to the University of Maryland for a unique opportunity to experience the work of international climate negotiations firsthand. Structured to resemble a convening of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties, participants were assigned one of the 196 party countries that will be participating in COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, this November. Read the recap of ICCN here.

Past Events

Center for Global Sustainability experts have been delivering keynotes and presentations, and participating in key events such as the 1.5 Degrees: Meeting the Challenges of the Paris Agreement, 8th annual Forestry and Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Modeling Forum, and GEF Global Commons Meeting. Read about it here.


Past CGS Research Seminars:
  • Matthew Binstead, "Well Below 2 °C” – Bioenergy’s Role in Limiting Global Warming in a post-Paris World"
  • Arijit Sen, "Separation of Carriage and Content at the Electricity Distribution Sector: Evaluation in the Indian Context"
  • Minji Jeong, "Evolution of Renewable Energy Policies: Case studies of Solar Photovoltaic in the U.S. and South Korea"
  • Dr. Charles Weiss, "“Driving Covered Wagons East”: Stimulating Innovation in Legacy Sectors"
  • Dr. Mark Buntaine, presentation on book "Giving Aid Effectively: The Politics of Environmental Performance and Selectivity at Multilateral Development Banks"
  • Leah Schleifer, "Renewable Natural Gas for Vehicles"
Alumni Spotlight:
Gustavo Silva Chávez

Gustavo A. Silva-Chávez has spent over 15 years working on international climate change issues related to the UN climate negotiations, including efforts to create a post-2020 global climate regime. His main areas of expertise are forest issues, including REDD+, land-use change, and agricultural policies. Prior to coming to Forest Trends, Gustavo worked at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), where he was a climate and forests specialist and the REDD+ project manager in the international climate program. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in political science and an MPP in international climate policy. In September, Gustavo met with current policy students in one-on-one mentoring sessions, designed to provide career trajectories insight and advice. 

At the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris, it was agreed that mobilizing stronger and more ambitious climate action by all Parties and non-Party stakeholders is urgently required if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be achieved, and appointed two high-level champions, Ms. Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for climate change and Ms. Hakima El Haite, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment of Morocco, in charge of the Environment, who have published their roadmap for the agenda. They have launched a consultative process to seek the views of governments and non-state stakeholders on this vision, and CGS submitted inputs to this vital agenda and looks forward to ongoing engagement with the global climate action agenda.

The Center for Global Sustainability, based at the University of Maryland, informs global, national, and local discussions on climate, energy, economic development, and sustainability.

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