John Andersen, President of Greenleaf Advisors and Communities, and Dr. Don Wuebbles, Earth Knowledge's Director of Climate Science, presented Solutions to Climate Change and Water Resources Challenges - at Home and Around the World in Lake Forest, Illinois on October 9.
Climate is a primary driver of ecosystem formation and is changing rapidly due to societal influences which require modification to protect natural resources, which sustain life on earth. In this presentation, John outlined three priority programs (climate, water, and energy) at Greenleaf Communities and Greenleaf Advisors which will have a significant impact both in our region and around the world. Don Wuebbles, expert atmospheric scientist, highlighted climate change forecasts, risks, and solutions. Our climate continues to change rapidly. We are experiencing many extreme weather events globally and 2023 will be the warmest year in history.
Greenleaf is working on a variety of solutions with many partners, some of which are noted below. There are many opportunities for collective action:
Climate Policy, Impact Assessment & Reporting
- Pricing carbon will accelerate the clean energy transition - Greenleaf conducted and shared economic research with leaders in civil society and government based on a three-pronged approach: pricing carbon in accordance with its cost to society, forming a Climate Club of nations that price carbon at an agreed minimum level and tax the exports of nonmember countries generating funds to support the climate related needs of developing countries.
- Sustainable Finance / ESG (environmental, social, and governance) principles are increasingly being integrated into investment and corporate decision-making, practices, and reporting including greenhouse gas emissions, climate risk, and nature risk.
- Earth Knowledge's digital twin of the earth provides authoritative, science-based information for clear decision-making by corporations and governments to mitigate and report on climate and nature-based risk. They help the state of California forecast and manage drought and wildfire risk, protecting water resources, infrastructure, and biodiversity.
- The Open Footprint Forum is establishing a common technical standard for the capture, sharing, and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions data empowering corporations to manage across their business ecosystem.
- Low-carbon, affordable energy solutions are increasingly available for carbon reduction, economic return, and operational resilience supported by effective market design and policy. Microgrids ensure continued operation for critical facilities when the grid goes down.
- Intelligent Generation enables businesses to profitably engage the clean energy grid by earning revenue through provision of grid services, providing savings on electric bills, and protecting critical systems and the environment.
Sustainable Development and Land Use
- Blacks in Green is the creator of the Sustainable Square Mile model, a whole-system approach designed to increase communities’ wealth and wellbeing in the context of a changing climate.
- The Clean Energy and Equitable Transportation Solutions Global Center (CLEETS) led by the Discovery Partners Institute convenes climate, energy, data science, and transportation experts to decarbonize road transportation.
- Green infrastructure projects provide environmental benefits including climate mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity enhancement, water quality, air quality, stormwater reduction and flood management.
- Continuous monitoring and adaptive control (CMAC) technologies provided by companies like Opti utilize gray and green infrastructure to smartly manage stormwater flows across sewer sheds.
John Andersen founded and leads Greenleaf Advisors, a sustainability advisory firm and Greenleaf Communities, an applied research nonprofit to advance business practices and public policies that protect land, water, material, energy, and climate resources. Previously John was International Director of the global real estate firm JLL and Great Lakes Director of The Nature Conservancy. He holds an AB in Economics from Brown University and MBA from Harvard Business School. John taught Sustainable Finance at DePaul University’s Kellstadt School of Business.
Dr. Don Wuebbles is Earth Knowledge’s Director of Climate Science where he focuses on bringing world-class science to its climate downscaling scenarios, digital twin of the Earth, and indicators. He is professor emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Don shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for Climate Change and is a lead author on numerous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. Don has two degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of California, Davis.
Climate Intelligence Resources
The presentation shared some easily accessible resources that are available to the public.