Climate Change Forum: A North American Perspective

Lecture Series

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Assembly Hall, Rockefeller Lounge, Coulter Lounge, Tiffin Boardroom

On October 26th, International House will host government representatives from Canada, Mexico, and the United States for a trilateral Canada-Mexico-US government panel, which will focus on North America’s role in fighting climate change. Canadian Consul Scott McCook explains that, “right now there's a really close cooperation between Canada, the United States, and Mexico on climate change issues, particularly since the Paris Conference [in December 2015] and the North American Leaders' Summit.” With President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto having agreed on concerted action to fight climate change when they met in Ottawa in June, McCook explains that their three nations now share “a lot of principles and objectives” on fighting climate change.

To discuss this international cooperation, the first panel will feature Enrique Lendo Fuentes, Head of the International Affairs Unit of the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and Daniel Wolfish, Director General of the Multilateral and Bilateral Affairs Directorate of Environment and Climate Change Canada. These two guests will discuss their respective countries’ unique roles in North American action on climate change. Howard Learner, President and Executive Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, will moderate the discussion.

The second panel will shift focus from national policies to city, community, and university-level initiatives. Panelists will include representatives from the Chicago Mayor’s Office, University of Chicago and affiliated organizations.

Chris Wheat, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, will speak about Chicago’s sustainability efforts. He will be joined by Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data and Senior Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory who will speak on the Array of Things Project; and Sumit Ray, Executive Director of Energy Management & Strategic Initiatives in the University of Chicago's Facilities Services speaking on the university’s strategic sustainability plan. Rachel Bronson, Director of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists will serve as moderator of the second panel.

The forum will be preceded by a “community sustainability fair,” where UChicago student organizations as well as external Chicago-based NGOs will have the opportunity to trade information on local “green” initiatives. There will also be a reception for university representatives, community members, policymakers and all attendees of the forum.

The Climate Change Forum is co-sponsored by the International House Global Voices Program, the Government of Canada, the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, The University of Chicago Office of Sustainability, the Program on the Global Environment,  the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Booth Energy Group, Green Economics Group, Stop Funding Climate Change UChicago, Phoenix Sustainability Initiative, Blacks in Green and the Collegiate Scholars Program.

Click here to read the Hyde Park Herald article about this event by Global Voices Metcalf Fellow, Maya Ruíz. 

Click here to read the interview conducted by Global Voices Metcalf Fellow, Caitlin Moroney.