The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, synthesizing scientific consensus, warned in 2018 that to avoid high risk of widespread disasters, an unprecedented and highly rapid transition to a carbon-free economy is required. The necessary shift will have economic and distributional impacts at a global scale, both within and across countries. Even if society achieves this ambitious goal, emissions from past decades will persist in the atmosphere causing continued physical risks to households, communities, and businesses in the near future and coming decades.
About the Initiative:
Over summer 2019, the Wharton Risk Center, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, the Penn Program on Regulation, and the Faculty Senate at the University of Pennsylvania hosted a virtual ideation session to generate new policy-relevant and solution-oriented ideas that focus on U.S. national, state, or local strategies for tackling one or more of three interrelated types of climate risk:
Mitigation: How do we reduce emissions rapidly to minimize the risks of catastrophic shifts in earth systems?
Adaptation: How do we reduce the risks of physical climate impacts to households, communities, and businesses?
Transition: How do we minimize the transition risks for businesses and communities as we shift to a carbon-free economy in the face of uncertainty?
Solutions to these risks are inherently interdisciplinary. The ideas outlined on this site came from researchers across schools and departments throughout the University of Pennsylvania. New solutions were posted on a continuous basis throughout the summer at climaterisksolutions.upenn.edu. The 30 solutions are also available in a synthesis report here.
As a continuation of the initiative, in spring 2020, students from across the university (any school, department, or program) were invited to submit their own solution-oriented ideas that focus on tackling climate change problems at any level or scale. A jury with representatives for The Wharton Risk Center and the Kleinman Center reviewed the submissions. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, chosen student submissions will be added over the two weeks following Earth Day here.
Visit climaterisksolutions.upenn.edu for all climate solutions posed by Penn faculty and students!