SMU to host regional U.N. conference on Texas climate extremes Sept. 17, 2015

Stock photo of drought-stricken landscapeTexas is a place of legendary weather extremes. Droughts, floods, extreme heat and bitter cold are a fact of life for its residents. How will people adapt to these climate issues and their impact on water supply, infrastructure, public resources and vulnerable populations?

SMU will host a major conference on climate extremes in Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area that will focus on impacts, solutions and collaborative strategies the public and private sectors can use to prepare for such issues – and what individuals can do to help address the underlying issues.

The University’s Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, along with sponsors and community partners, will present the half-day program — an official conference of COP21 Paris, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change scheduled for December 2015. The SMU event is part of a series of preliminary sessions called “FACTS: French Ameri-Can Climate TalkS,” which are being organized by the Embassies of France in both Canada and the United States.

> Find a complete schedule at the conference website: climateextremes.com

The conference focus is purposely inclusive of both the global and local scenes related to climate extremes. The Consul General of France in Houston, Sujiro Seam, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will open the conference. Climate extremes experts will deliver brief talks in two panel discussions moderated by Dallas journalist Lee Cullum.

A featured panelist is Bruce McCarl, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, who was part of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Lunch will include the introduction of a new research paper by Hunt Institute Director Eva Csaky on the topic of climate extremes, “The Inclusive Economy;” brief remarks by Trammell S. Crow, founder of Earth Day Texas; and keynote speaker Patrick Caron, director general in charge of research and strategy at CIRAD, a French agricultural research and international cooperation organization.

Watch the SMU Climate Extremes Conference live smu.edu/live beginning at 8:45 a.m. Central time Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. The conference video will be archived after its conclusion.