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How We Decide to Get Serious about Climate Solutions: Politics, Communication, and Framing

September 25, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm EDT

Adaptation to climate change has emerged as an essential and permanent topic for professional, academic, government and public discussion.

Civil engineers, architects, building owners, real estate investors, insurers, planners, environmental regulators, transportation providers, emergency responders, public health providers, and many others are grappling with how to incorporate the evident need for adaptation and resilience into much of what they do. Academia is also deepening its involvement with this most important and fascinating set of public policy issues.

The growing body of experience and expertise in adaptation is not widely appreciated either within or across the traditional silos that define professions, disciplines and practices. At the same time, there is no regular, ongoing opportunity for adaptation professionals from various fields to meet in Boston to cross-pollinate ideas and share solutions to common problems.

The Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) and the Sustainable Solutions Lab at the University of Massachusetts Boston have collaborated to establish a quarterly series of half-day Climate Adaptation Forums that will provide cutting-edge thought leadership on adaptation to climate change for environmental and energy professionals, policy makers, municipal officials, NGOs, and practitioners.

These quarterly forums will address everything from infrastructure and design solutions to communication challenges and barriers to implementation to policy solutions to the nexus of climate and equity. Local, national and global speakers will represent forward-thinking institutions, global firms, academia, government and other high level practitioners. Join the ever-growing group of professionals working to address the challenge of climate change adaptation and resiliency at the quarterly forums.

Upcoming Forum: How We Decide to Get Serious about Climate Solutions: Politics, Communication, and Framing


Climate change has evolved into a hot-button, politically charged issue whether you are on the right or left. Communicating messages across audiences is challenging not only because the threat has been politicized but because climate change is often not seen as the emergency it is.

Join the Climate Adaptation Forum and our panel of national leaders to explore climate change communication and framing efforts across the political spectrum. Our panel will answer today’s most pressing questions: How is climate change internalized by different audiences? How have the panelists succeeded in communicating messages across audiences? Does it matter whether climate is framed as a greenhouse gas emissions problem or an adaptation/resilience problem? How does the framing of climate change intersect with structural racism?

Renowned climate change journalists, communication experts, and behavioral analysts will address why more people won’t respond to the threats of climate change with urgency. Are there easy ways to implement knock-out strategic messaging and remove obstacles to ambitious action? Do most people respond to messages of danger, opportunity, injustice, or something else?

This is a can’t-miss virtual event!

Registration closes at 11:00 a.m. EDT/UTC -4.00 on September 25, 2020. After September 25, 2020 refunds will not be available.

Forum Co-Chairs

David W. Cash,
Ph.D., Founding Forum Steering Committee Member
Dean, John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
University of Massachusetts Boston
Curriculum Vitae | LinkedIn


Sarah Finnie Robinson
Founding Director, The 51 Percent Project
Senior Fellow, Institute for Sustainable Energy
Adjunct Clinical Professor, College of Communication
Boston University
Biography | LinkedIn

Kathryn Meng Elmes
, Ph.D.
Carbon Strategic Partnerships
Indigo Agriculture


Alex Papali
, Forum Steering Committee Member
Political Director
Center for Economic Democracy


Speaker Agenda

Release of the Sustainable Solutions Lab Report – Views that Matter: Race and Opinions on Climate Change of Boston Area Residents

Lorena M. Estrada-Martinez, Ph.D., MPH
Assistant Professor of Environment and Public Health
School for the Environment
University of Massachusetts Boston



Paul Watanabe, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science
Director of the Institute for Asian American Studies
University of Massachusetts Boston


Climate Across the Spectrum: Bare-Knuckle Politics in the Field


Moderator: Mary Skelton Roberts
Co-Director of Climate
Barr Foundation


Jacqueline Patterson
NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program


Benji Backer
President and Founder
American Conservation Coalition



Randy Abreu
Policy Director
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)


Psychology, Semantics, and Strategy: Accelerating Response to Climate Change


Moderator: Sarah Finnie Robinson, Director, “The 51 Percent Project”, Institute for Sustainable Energy, Senior Fellow and Adjunct Clinical Professor, College of Communication, Boston University


Elke Weber, Ph.D.
Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment
Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs
Princeton University



Justin Worland
Washington D.C.-based correspondent for TIME
covering energy and the environment


John Marshall
Senior Client Advisor


September 25, 2020
10:00 am - 1:00 pm EDT
Event Category:




September 25, 2020
10:00 am - 1:00 pm EDT
Event Category: