Climate Change and the News: Planning for Sea Level Rise & Extreme Weather
As President Obama pushes some of the toughest regulations ever proposed to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., a clear understanding of climate change science is quickly becoming an essential tool for journalists, as well as city planners, zoning officials, public health practitioners, transportation experts, and other professionals charged with helping organizations and communities adapt to sea level rise and other climate change impacts. This is particularly important for journalists preparing to cover the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December where President Obama’s proposal may play a role in shaping negotiations.
Among the most immediate challenges is sea level rise, with broad implications for the nearly 40% of the U.S. population – the proportion that lives in coastal zones.
Metcalf Institute partnered with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) to present a seminar designed to help journalists understand the science and policy underlying businesses, government agencies, academia, and community efforts to develop effective responses to climate change. The one-day workshop was part of Metcalf Institute’s Climate Change and the News initiative and was held at ACCO’s 2015 Rising Seas Summit: Transforming Decision Making, Developing Adaptive Infrastructure & Advancing Solutions at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Wednesday, November 4, 2015.
In addition to attending the Metcalf seminar, participating journalists who attended the summit had access to more than 275 professionals from national and local government, industry, academia, and environmental NGOs attending ACCO’s two-day conference. Selected journalists heard from a wide range of local and national experts at the Metcalf Institute seminar, and:
- Attended Rising Seas Summit plenary sessions including session on lessons learned from flood events
- Learned about new efforts underway to adapt to and plan for sea level rise
- Better understood risk assessments and economic impacts associated with sea level rise and extreme weather events
- Met stakeholders at the conference who are leading research and planning efforts at local to national scales
Seminar Offered Tuition Free to Journalists & Includes Conference Registration
With support from The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and in-kind support from ACCO, the seminar was offered without fee to participating journalists as part of Metcalf Institute’s Climate Change and the News initiative. Metcalf Institute paid for each participant’s conference registration and provided travel/lodging support of up to US$200 in reimbursement of receipts after the conference for those who had to travel from outside the Boston area. Only professional journalists based in the United States were eligible.
About the Association of Climate Change Officers
The Association of Climate Change Officers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization for executives and officials worldwide in industry, government, academia and the non-profit community. ACCO’s mission is to define, develop and support the functions, resources and communities necessary for effective organizational leadership in addressing climate-related risks and opportunities.