President Obama proposed a comprehensive energy plan which includes a major shift in U.S. climate policy. Among other commitments, he supports an economy-wide cap-and-trade system designed to reduce emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and a reengagement with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. In the first few days following his election, he reaffirmed these issues as a priority for his administration and begun to take significant policy steps.
This interdisciplinary symposium, which was held one month after the Obama Administration took office, will assess the Administration's initial steps on climate change and reflect on the road ahead. Our aim is to not only provide interesting academic discussion, but also to produce a policy assessment that might be useful to those advising the new Administration. Panels will focus on managing scientific and policy uncertainty, addressing complexities of scale, reconceptualizing energy policy, and achieving greater justice. A number of presenters participated remotely to reduce the carbon footprint of the conference.