Rendering of Earth from space

3 things to know about… CWRU’s inaugural Climate Action Week

White House Senior Advisor for Climate Policy Sonia Aggarwal to kick off event

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it’s unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land—and widespread, rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred because of it. 

To inspire action to address the challenges of human-generated climate change, Case Western Reserve University’s Climate Action Network is gearing up for the university’s inaugural Climate Action Week, slated to take place March 18-25. 

The week of programming—which dozens of students, staff and faculty have worked for more than a year to plan—will feature a variety of events aimed toward broadening the discussion of climate change on campus and beyond. 

To learn more about what’s in store, The Daily sat down with Stephanie Corbett, director of energy, sustainability and the University Farm in the Office of Energy and Sustainability; Grant Goodrich, executive director of Great Lakes Energy Institute; and Cyrus C. Taylor, Albert A. Michelson Professor in the Department of Physics.

1. Anyone can be involved in the week’s events.

How can we as a community help reverse the course of steadily rising greenhouse gas emissions? This is the challenge Climate Action Week seeks to address. We hope every member of our community will find time to attend one or more of the scheduled events.

The events range from dealing with aspects of climate change, to policy-related talks (like the keynote address or the Thursday Energy focused lunchtime talk with local science and policy journalist Kathi Kowalski and Visiting Political Science Professor Matthew Hodgetts), to various events events encouraging individual day-to-day actions (including off-campus volunteer opportunities, taking mass transit, fixing your clothes instead of buying new, reducing your on-campus energy consumption, and lowering your carbon footprint by eating more plant-based foods).

2. Sonia Aggarwal, White House senior advisor for climate policy and Innovation, will kick the week off. 

We are proud to be bringing Sonia Aggarwal to campus for the week’s keynote talk. Prior to her current position, she was vice president of Energy Innovation, where she worked to design policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the world’s highest emitting nations. We’re really looking forward to learning about her take on national and global climate policy. Make sure to register for the event.

3. Our collective work will continue after the events commence. 

We have known the scope and impact of human-generated climate change for decades, and it has been more than 30 years since the nations of the world created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to inform the process to address challenges related to climate change—yet we have not begun to turn the corner. The time to act is now.

After Climate Action Week, join CWRU’s Climate Action Network or attend one of the several upcoming activities (listed below). Through all of this, we want to explore: How is your degree a climate degree? How is your job a climate job?

We hope you can engage during our first Climate Action Week—there is so much work to be done. We hope you see opportunities for climate action, help us identify what is missing and let us know so we can work together to bring it to 2023’s Climate Action Week (planning starts early this summer).

After Climate Action Week, check out these upcoming events:

  • April 2, 10 a.m. to noon: Group bike ride to the Westside Market (Student Sustainability Ambassador Event)
  • April 9, 12:30 to 3 p.m.: Annual Rockefeller Park Stream Sweep (Student Sustainability Council and Doan Brook Watershed Partnership event)
  • April 15, 4 p.m.: Campus garden community event 
  • April 16, 10 a.m. to noon: Group bike ride to Euclid Beach (Student Sustainability Ambassador event)