In December, Commission on Accelerating Climate Action co-chair Chris Field and John E. Bryson Program Director for Science, Engineering, and Technology Leo Curran presented the Commission’s final report, Forging Climate Solutions: How to Accelerate Action Across America, to the annual American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco. This conference, which regularly draws over 25,000 attendees, convenes experts in the field of climate change, representing academia, non-governmental organizations, industry, and government.
Curran presented the report's main findings at the "Climate Science and Policy" session convened by Gifford J Wong (Institute for Defense Analyses), Karen Akerlof (George Mason University), Kripa Akila Jagannathan (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), and Alexandra Shultz (American Geophysical Union). The presentation underscored the strengths that can emerge from building a diverse commission and highlighted the report’s fair bargain approach, which emphasizes compromise in recognition of shared interests. In response to questions about implementing the report, Curran discussed the need to advance achievable climate solutions while experimenting with difficult or untested solutions. Curran also emphasized the importance of ongoing outreach efforts to a diverse set of stakeholders.
Afterward, Field and Curran held a media roundtable for reporters from national publications, including the Washington Post. Points of discussion included:
- The need to engage all stakeholders in building strong coalitions to combat climate change. Field and Curran referenced successful job training programs in West Virginia and Wyoming.
- The importance of partnering with trusted messengers, such as religious leaders, when engaging with communities skeptical of climate action.
- The need for leaders of all sectors to act on the report’s recommendations to achieve the most equitable balance of outcomes.
Outreach to audiences already engaged in climate action is vital to the report's goal of building a broad and durable coalition. While the researchers and policymakers attending AGU have expertise in one or more areas of climate change, the goal of the Academy's presentation was to challenge them to think about climate action systemically.
The Commission on Accelerating Climate Action remains committed to extending outreach efforts to diverse audiences throughout the spring, including targeted events tailored for Academy members. For further insights and updates on their endeavors, visit amacad.org/climate.