Mahowald to lead conference on atmospheric CO2 removal

Natalie Mahowald, a lead author on the recent United Nations’ special report on global warming, will deliver the keynote address at the 2019 Polson Institute Future of Development symposium, March 8 from 2-5:30 p.m. in B25 Warren Hall. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Mahowald, the Irving Porter Church Professor of Engineering in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and four other speakers will discuss carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. Mahowald is a faculty director for Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

This is the first in a series of symposiums on climate change hosted by the Polson Institute.

“What’s particularly exciting about these symposia is how they address questions of equity, justice and the distribution of risks in relation to some of the proposed climate solutions,” said Lori Leonard, professor of development sociology and director of the Polson Institute.

Also speaking will be:

  • Robin Chazdon, a professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast and executive director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, who will discuss the global potential of natural forest regeneration to conserve biodiversity and maintain indigenous cultural practices in tropical forest regions;
  • Erin Burns, associate policy director at Carbon 180, a Washington think tank that champions global warming mitigation efforts, who will speak on developing federal policy to address carbon removal technology and practices;
  • Wil Burns, co-executive director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University, will address the transnational challenges of carbon removal and the limitations of existing international law and treaties; and
  • Ben Cashore, professor of environmental governance and political science at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, who will discuss ways to decarbonize the atmosphere and the social implications of those choices.

The event is co-sponsored by the Atkinson Center and the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions.

Christian Elliott is a program and communications associate in the Department of Development Sociology.

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Lindsey Knewstub