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University of Maryland Launches New Center for Global Sustainability

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland announced today the opening of the Center for Global Sustainability housed within the School of Public Policy. As world leaders and the global community have increased their efforts to address climate change, clean energy and sustainable development, there is now the prospect of enhanced global ambition under a new climate agreement and a set of global sustainable development goals. UMD's new Center for Global Sustainability is positioned to emerge as a U.S. and international hub for providing solutions for climate, energy and sustainability policy, and to provide support for policy implementation within the framework of the Paris Agreement. 

The Center for Global Sustainability will feature a multi-stakeholder approach to analysis and policy assessment. Work will be organized around four topical areas that draw from existing strengths at the university: climate mitigation policy; energy pathways; resilience and adaptation; and ecosystems and health. The center will also develop research products in conjunction with key partners, establish international research partnerships; and leverage UMD's educational mission for students and to build capacity at the state level, nationally and internationally.

“Our policy experts and scientists work internationally to meet climate change commitments, and this new Center will become a focal point to lead that effort,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “These challenges require a team approach that combines the best science and policy expertise.”

“As an immediate first step after Paris, the University of Maryland, along with major international partners, will hold Climate Action 2016, a high-level summit that will address the central challenges of climate implementation,” said School of Public Policy Dean Robert Orr, who also serves as the United Nations Secretary-General’s special advisor for climate change. “The new Center for Global Sustainability will be perfectly positioned to carry forward the outcomes from the summit and research needed to support climate action all over the world.”

Situated in the national capital region, the center will have direct access to thought leaders, influencers and government organizations. Geographic advantages combined with international policy expertise and connections with key countries will facilitate the center’s immediate and significant impact on global and national policy processes.

Director of the Center for Global Sustainability: Nathan Hultman 

Founding Director Nathan Hultman comes to the position with extensive experience working in international climate and energy policy, low-carbon energy technologies and national climate target setting and assessment—in both research and policy contexts. Most recently he served as deputy associate director for Energy and Climate Change within the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he worked on the U.S. climate target, bilateral engagements on climate change including the U.S.-China Joint Announcement, and the Paris climate negotiations. A University of Maryland faculty member since 2008, Hultman has served as associate director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaboration between the University of Maryland and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He has been published extensively, with recent papers in Science, Nature Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environmental Research Letters, and others. At the School of Public Policy, he leads the environmental and energy policy program and has taught courses in climate science and policy, energy policy and global environmental problems.

In celebration of the launch of the Center for Global Sustainability, Al Gore will visit the University of Maryland on March 1, 2016 to pledge his support for the Center’s mission of a multi-stakeholder approach to climate change policy.