To kick off the 2021 Notre Dame Forum, NBC News Chief Environmental Correspondent Anne Thompson will host a “fireside chat” with U.S. Senator Chris Coons, co-chair of the Senate Biparty Committee on Climate Solutions, at the event. ‘A main event, “Call to Action: Crossing the Political Divide to Address Climate Challenges,” from 3 pm to 4 pm on September 10 in the Jordan Auditorium at Mendoza College of Business.

This year’s ND Forum, “Caring for Our Common Home: A Just Transition to a Sustainable Future,” focuses not only on the environmental threats posed by climate change, but also on the costly economic, social and political disruption that is occurring. ‘it causes. As Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical Laudato Siˊ of 2015: “We are not faced with two distinct crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather a complex crisis that is both social and environmental.

“As we kick off this year’s ND Forum, we are fortunate to hear from Senator Coons, a leader who has crossed the aisle to address the pressing issues of climate change and the just transition,” said the president of Notre Dame, Rev. John I. Jenkins, SCC, said. “I am deeply grateful to Senator Coons and Anne Thompson for giving us this opportunity to think deeply about the next steps we could take, as individuals and as a nation.”

University professors and guest speakers will set the stage for the Forum Notre-Dame’s inaugural address with three events from September 7-9, offering an overview of the encyclical, examining related campus teaching and research to the issues described by Pope Francis, discussing common work and opportunities, and exploring the role of international cooperation and security. Details are available here.

First elected to the Senate in 2010, Coons has made climate challenges one of his legislative priorities. In addition to founding and chairing the Biparty Senate Committee on Climate Solutions with Senator Mike Braun, Coons has led several bipartisan laws, including the Law on Saving Energy through Public-Private Partnerships, the Law on Partnerships for energy security and innovation and the law on the financing of our energy. Future Act, which would take important steps to support research, development and deployment in energy efficiency and clean energy.

Coons received his BA in Chemistry and Political Science from Amherst College, his JD from Yale Law School, and an MA in Ethics from Yale Divinity School. He sits on the Senate Credit, Foreign Relations, Justice, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship and Ethics Committees.

NBC News’ environmental affairs correspondent since 2007, Thompson covered all aspects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and traveled the world to cover alternative fuels, global warming, land use, new technologies and other environmental topics. and climate change. Previously, she was chief financial correspondent for NBC News and is the recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.

A graduate of Notre Dame and a member of the university’s board of trustees since 2010, Thompson was a reporter for four years at WNDU-TV in South Bend, as well as with NBC affiliates in St. Louis and Detroit.

Among the many sustainability initiatives underway at Notre Dame, the University has co-sponsored with the Vatican a series of Energy Transition Conversations with eexecutives of many of the world’s leading energy producers and investors, which in 2019 enabled participants to sign declarations of support for carbon pricing and disclosures on the risk linked to climate change.

Thanks to programs such as Notre-Dame Environmental change initiative and ND Energy, academics and researchers are working to find solutions to society’s complex environmental challenges that recognize and address the importance of human well-being and environmental health and help the world move towards a more sustainable future.

On campus and in the local community, the University has significantly expanded in recent years its sustainability measures, including ending the use of coal in its power plant and substantial investments in geothermal energy, hydropower, solar projects, green roofs and more, all of which have reduced more than 50% of its carbon footprint. The Sustainability Office works with a wide range of student groups and partners across campus to ensure the University is a leader in sustainable operations, education, and research.

Since its inception in 2005, the Notre Dame Forum has invited a campus-wide dialogue on issues of importance to the University, the nation and the world at large, including the challenges and opportunities of globalization, the role of presidential debates, immigration and the place of faith in a pluralist society.

More information is available here.


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