UN World Environment Day Forum will explore climate change
Tue, Jun 02 2009 at 3:22 PM
By The Nature Conservancy
Omaha has been chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as the host city for North American celebrations of World Environment Day 2009. This week of events will include a forum on the topic of renewable energy and climate change sponsored by The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska, the United Nations Environment Programme and the University of Nebraska – Omaha. It will be held on Wednesday, June 3 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the University’s Milo Bail Student Center.
Mace Hack, director of The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska, will moderate the forum. “Climate change threatens to become the dominant environmental issue of our lifetime, and our children’s lifetime. And it’s not just about nature; it’s about people in nature.
Climate change is beginning to unravel the natural systems that provide us with clean water, clean air, and the food, fuel, and other natural resources that sustain our lives on this planet. Right now we have time to react in an effective and thoughtful manner — if our carbon emissions continue to grow, our options will decrease,” said Hack.
The panel discussion will feature The Nature Conservancy’s Jonathan Hoekstra and Joseph Fargione, and Amy Fraenkel, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for North America.
Hoekstra, Managing Director of the Conservancy’s Climate Change Program and an expert on the issue of adapting natural and human communities to the new realities of climate change, will provide an overview of climate change and what it may mean for the Great Plains and perhaps Nebraska.
Fargione, a lead scientist for the Conservancy’s North America region, will discuss renewable energy development in the Great Plains and whether wind energy and biofuels are the answers in the United States as the nation works to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
Fraenkel will focus on the linkages of climate change to the global economy and opportunities for addressing both climate change and the economic crisis — including through sustainable agriculture, bio-sequestration and renewable energy, as well as on how ordinary citizens can make a difference.
Ms. Fraenkel has more than 20 years of experience in environmental law and policy. She has worked in both the executive and legislative branches of the United States government, inter-governmental organizations and the private sector. She served as Senior Counsel of the Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
The event is free and open to the public, and attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. RSVPs may be taken by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (402) 342-0282 ext. 1009.
World Environment Day is commemorated each year on June 5. Created by the UN General Assembly in 1972, the event is one of primary ways the United Nation works to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment. Individuals, environment and conservation groups, schools, nonprofit organizations and corporations from around the world are expected to participate.
Learn more about Omaha’s events.
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