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Board of Regents Winter 2016 Webinar - De-brief on COP21
Thursday January 28, 2016
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

  1. Download the full web-ex presentation
  2. Download the video recording of the web-ex presentation
  3. The following three articles provide a comprehensive analysis of the outcome of the COP 21 conference last month:
    • Paris Climate Deal: Key Points at a Glance (Guardian)
      • This article concisely summarizes the key breakthroughs and the lingering setbacks that exist after the climate change conference
    • The Climate Path Ahead (Andrew C. Revkin in NYT)
      • Revkin examines the momentum that the Paris talks have helped to generate, and where it should be directed in order to produce the most effective results.
    • Now Comes the Hard Part (Brad Plumer in Vox)
      • Plumer explains most aspects of the Paris deal, but he also notes the variation in the commitments that each nation faces in the future. He notes that this agreement will produce unique effects in each country and also realistically appraises the likelihood of limiting total warming to the proposed 2°C.
  4. We have the benefit of hearing from three individuals who participated in the COP21. The focus of the briefing is to give you an overview of what was achieved in the negotiations as well as to provide you with insights into what participating in such an international event is like, ranging from how the negotiations unfold to what ancillary activities are taking place. And finally, a discussion on the value proposition for companies who actually engaged in the meeting and how the COP21 outcomes are shaping their internal discussions and strategies.
    • The speakers will be Norine Kennedy, Vice President for Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment at U.S. Council for International Business. Leah Seligmann, Chief Sustainability Officer at NRG Energy Inc. and Nanette Lockwood, Global Director, Climate Policy at Ingersoll-Rand plc

Speaker Bios

Leah Seligmann, Chief Sustainability Officer; NRG Energy Inc.

Leah Seligmann

Leah Seligmann leads the sustainability program for the largest competitive electricity generator in the United States and a leading retail provider of electricity and energy services. NRG generates about 53,000 megawatts from a diverse portfolio of solar, wind, nuclear, coal and gas facilities at nearly 150 locations, supporting the needs of over 40 million homes nationwide.

Leah's role at NRG is an acknowledgment that the company is at the start of an energy revolution that will forever change how people think about, buy and use energy. To help lay the foundation for this sea change, NRG has invested more than $3 billion on environmental improvements to its fleet since 2000, and plans to spend about $650 million through 2016 on additional improvements that will deliver dramatic reductions in emissions. Environmental controls, including carbon capture and sequestration, combined with repowering with cleaner technologies, buildingrenewables, and retirement of older units, will reduce NRG's overall water usage, GHG and other emissions per megawatt-hour of generation.
Before joining NRG, Leah was a consultant for Blu Skye Consulting, which advised leading companies such as Alcoa, Walmart, and Microsoft and engaged their top executives in their corporate sustainability efforts. During her time at Blu Skye, some of her projects included helping Alcoa to bring together the recycling industry in an effort to align 77 organizations on the goal and action plan to increase recycling of consumer packaging by 20 percentage points by 2015, supporting Walmart's sustainable Palm Oil initiative and Microsoft's Carbon Reduction strategy.

Leah's experience spans a broad range of industries and sustainable strategies, including energy, sustainable agriculture, waste reduction and recycling, employee engagement, valuation of ecosystem services, packaging innovation, supply chain transparency and innovation, sustainable merchandising, and greenhouse gas reduction.

Born to parents who both worked for environmental NGOs, Leah grew up knowing sustainability would be her life's passion. After earning her degree from Columbia University in political science with an emphasis on environmental policy, her early career was focused on education and working for environmental nonprofits and through this work she realized the role business can play impacting both policy makers and consumers. Her work in her current role at NRG promises to have significant and widespread ripple effects that will further benefit communities and the environment for generations to come.

Nanette Lockwood, Global Director, Climate Policy; Ingersoll-Rand plc

Nanette Lockwood

As the global director of Climate Policy for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand, Ms. Lockwood is responsible for leading global advocacy efforts for climate-related policies for Ingersoll Rand. She also leads the company's U.S. and international efforts on refrigerant policies and is actively involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Montreal Protocol processes.

Lockwood has more than 14 years of state and national legislative and regulatory advocacy experience with increasing responsibility in the energy, building and automotive sectors. Previously Lockwood was the global director for government affairs for Solutia, Inc., a specialty chemicals company with market-leading products in the energy, building and automotive sectors.

Prior positions include director of Engineering and Building Codes for the Institute for Business and Home Safety, an insurance-funded association dedicated to increasing the natural disaster resistance of the U.S. built environment.

Lockwood is a Florida registered professional environmental engineer with bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical and environmental engineering from the University of South Florida. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from Concord Law School and a master's degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School.

Norine Kennedy, Vice President, Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment; United States Council for International Business

Norine Kennedy

With over 20 years’ experience as USCIB's lead environment, energy and climate change expert, Norine Kennedy promotes U.S. business participation in international environmental policy and management initiatives, and works closely with industry, government and NGOs to promote sustainable development and green growth. She also spearheads USCIB’s strategic international engagement initiative, which seeks to advance meaningful business participation and regulatory diplomacy in inter-governmental organizations, and focuses on increasing accountability of international institutions regarding business interests.

In addition to staffing USCIB’s 120 company Environment Committee, Kennedy represents business in environmental discussions at the UN and OECD. She was a business observer at the UN’s 1992 Earth Summit in Rio and served on the U.S. delegation to the Rio+20 summit in 2012. She regularly participates in meetings of the UN Environment Programme and UN deliberations on the Sustainable Development Goals and Post-2015 Development Agenda, and in negotiating sessions for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Kennedy joined USCIB in 1991, having served at the World Environment Center as project manager in its corporate programs department. She holds a master's degree in international environmental policy from Claremont Graduate School, and a bachelor's degree in international relations from Wellesley College.

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