Climate Task Force — Piscataway Town Hall
The science is clear: climate change is real, humans are responsible for it, and it is having increasingly severe impacts throughout the world, including here in New Jersey. Sea-level rise associated with global warming is responsible for about 70% of tidal flooding along the Jersey Shore, and in the absence of global sea-level rise, Hurricane Sandy would have flooded about 38,000 fewer New Jerseyans. A warmer atmosphere is increasing the frequency of intense rainfall events, such as those New Jersey experienced during Hurricanes Floyd and Irene. Heat waves are becoming more intense and frequent, causing deleterious impacts on human health.
The only way to stabilize the global climate is to bring net human-caused carbon dioxide emissions to zero – meaning every amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere must be balanced by the deliberate removal of an equal amount – and to reduce sharply emissions of other greenhouse gases. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, achieving the Paris Climate Agreement’s most ambitious goal, that of limiting warming to 1.5°C, requires global net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by about 2050. And yet even 1.5°C of warming leaves significant residual risk to which individuals, businesses, universities, governments – and, indeed, all of society – must adapt.
It is in the context of these challenges that President Barchi established Rutgers’ President’s Task Force on Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience. The purpose of this Task Force is to develop Rutgers’ strategies for contributing to achieving global net-zero carbon dioxide emissions (‘carbon neutrality’) and for enhancing the capacity of the university and the State of New Jersey to manage the risks of a changing climate (‘climate resilience’).
The purpose of the town halls is to include the Rutgers University Community in this process, and to provide an open forum to share ideas to the Task Force on how to best achieve these goals. All members of the Rutgers Community are welcomed to attend these town halls to contribute to the discussion and to learn more about the strategies being developed by the Task Force.
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