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Professor William Solecki's Report Presented at Climate Change Conference in Paris

Hunter's William Solecki, professor of geography and founding director of the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities, has co-edited a wide-reaching and authoritative new report on climate change. The report’s Summary for City Leaders was just released at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where representatives from 195 nations met to attempt to achieve a legally binding consensus on climate guidelines.

Professor Solecki’s report, “Cities & Climate Change, Second Assessment Report,” was commissioned by the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), a consortium of more than 600 individuals dedicated to the analysis of climate change mitigation and adaptation with particular focus on cities. At the Paris conference, the UCCRN report provided a critical perspective on the role of urban environments to curtail climate change, offset risks, and create solutions. The report presents a comprehensive review of major findings in climate science, as well as advocating for key pathways to create resiliency and cost-effective, human-protective plans for change in urban environments and systems. It will be published in full by Cambridge University Press in 2016.

"The research report released today presented further evidence that cities and city leaders are playing a central role in the global climate change challenge,” said Solecki. “Several high-profile side events of the Paris COP meeting showed continuing commitment by cities throughout the world to respond to climate change risk through adaptation and greenhouse gas emission mitigation strategies. The need for small incremental actions is rapidly being superseded by demands for larger scale transformative action; there is an ever-diminishing window for action to stem the worst effects of climate change but also a gathering resolve to address what is seen as a profound threat."

Solecki’s research focuses on urban environmental change, resilience, and climate adaptation. He has served as co-chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change and co-PI of the Climate Change Risk in the Urban Northeast Project, as well as multiple other climate change initiatives. He has written extensively on climate change, urbanization, and environmental sustainability.

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