With the impact of climate change becoming more and more uncomfortably obvious, UCLA researchers are focused on making Los Angeles a sustainable model for other cities. At a climate change conference on campus today, UCLA researchers and other speakers are discussing the challenges facing cities around the world.
The conference is one of the seven French Ameri-Can Climate Talks, or FACTS conferences, that French embassies are hosting in the United States and Canada. The FACTS conferences are precursors to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015, known as COP 21-Paris Climate 2015, the group of nations that agreed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.
UCLA professor Alex Hall, one of today’s panelists, is giving a brief overview of his research showing that by midcentury, temperatures in greater Los Angeles will increase 4-5 degrees and snowfall will decrease 30-40 percent due to climate change. Hall is a professor in UCLA's Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and a lead author of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which, among other things, assesses global climate-change simulations for the United Nations. Also contributing to these reports is UCLA professor and atmospheric physicist J. David Neelin
Today’s FACTS conference is organized by an international partnership that includes the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES), the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC), the Embassy of France in the United States and the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles.
Opening remarks are being given by Mark Gold, the acting director of IoES, and Krista Kline, the managing director of the LARC. Speakers from greater Los Angeles and France are discussing the role cities will play in climate change policies, from the changing risks to new opportunities.
The conference also reflects the campus’s goal to make Los Angeles fully sustainable in terms of energy, water and biodiversity, the objective of the first UCLA Grand Challenge Project. “Thriving in a Hotter Los Angeles” is designed to turn Los Angeles into a global model for urban sustainability by reaching the goal of using exclusively renewable energy and local water by 2050, while protecting biodiversity and enhancing quality of life.
The conference comes on the heels of a pledge made this week by President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping to reduce or limit carbon dioxide emissions. Many have interpreted that step as an encouraging sign for global cooperation on climate change.