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Trienens Institute Commends National Climate Leadership

April 22, 2021
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The Paula M. Trienens  Institute for Sustainability and Energy applauds the Biden Administration on its bold announcement today to cut national greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% below 2005 emissions levels by 2030. The pledge nearly doubles the ambition of the 2015 US climate commitment to cut emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

Ambition matters. The science tells us unequivocally that the actions that we undertake in the next decade are a critical down payment on a global net-zero trajectory by 2050; there is literally “no time like the present.”

The Institute itself remains committed to studying climate system dynamics and developing solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation through its Ubben Program for Climate and Carbon Science. That said, the reinvestment in basic sciences R&D, coupled with new resources for applied research and bringing technology innovation to market, is an ongoing role that can only be appropriately underwritten at the scale of our federal government. As such, the Institute commends the Climate Innovation Working Group’s recommendation to establish an Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate (ARPA-C).

Of course, actions speak louder than words, and we fully support the bold vision to “build back better,” making the climate crisis central to job growth, economic innovation, and social justice and equity. Opportunities to build cleaner, more resilient communities should be the centerpiece of any innovation agenda, and Northwestern stands ready join our academic, not-for-profit, corporate, and municipal stakeholders in re-establishing the US as a model of climate partnership and leadership.

Michael R. Wasielewski
Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry
Executive Director