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Workshop to explore societal impact of climate change

2/24/2016 3:59:00 AM

Understanding the many ways that climate change is affecting society is the goal of an upcoming workshop organized, in part, by professors Paolo Gardoni and Praveen Kumar from the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The workshop, titled Climate Change and Its Impact: Risks and Inequalities, will be held March 10 – 11, 2016, at the I Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign, Ill.

Paolo Gardoni
Paolo Gardoni

“Climate change is one of the most important and pressing global challenges for the international community,” Gardoni said. “The premise of this workshop is that climate change adaptation and mitigation policy must be technically viable as well as socially and culturally acceptable, economically reasonable, environmentally sustainable and ethically justifiable.”

Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar

In order to meet these goals, Gardoni said policy should draw on the technical expertise of scientists, engineers, architects and urban planners; the legal, cultural, political, and economic expertise of social scientists and legal scholars; and the ethical expertise of philosophers and ethicists. The workshop will feature scholars and practitioners from those diverse disciplinary backgrounds speaking on the topics of Preparedness, Ecology, Impact, Vulnerability, Governance and Adaptation. The keynote address will be delivered by the Honorable Mary Robinson, president and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, current U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Change and former President of Ireland.

“The overarching goal for the workshop is to develop a better understanding of the ways that climate change is affecting society by altering weather patterns, modifying risks such as those from natural hazards, and exacerbating inequalities as well as creating new inequalities among individuals and communities around the world,” Gardoni said.

In addition to Gardoni and Kumar, workshop organizers include professors Colleen Murphy, College of Law, Department of Philosophy, and Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program; Robert McKim, Departments of Religion and Philosophy; and Don Wuebbles, Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

For registration details, visit inequalityinitiative.illinois.edu/climatechange. The registration fee is waived for students, faculty and staff of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but all attendees must register in advance.