International Climate Change Program Receives State Department Funding

Grant of $498,165 Goes to Baruch College, International Center for
Efforts to Curb Climate Change

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New York, NY, Nov. 18, 2010 - Baruch College and The International Center, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit group focused on issues between the United States and the developing world, announced today that they have been awarded jointly a grant of $498,165 from the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

The grant will be used to create the Climate Change Professional Fellows Program, an international fellowship program which will convene professionals from four East Asian and Pacific countries -- Australia, China, Indonesia and Japan -- and the United States to explore the science, impact, adaptation, mitigation and actions related to climate change. The program will serve 40 participants, including 14 from the U.S. and 26 from the other participating countries, in three exchanges: fellows from abroad will come to the U.S., dividing their time among San Francisco, New York City and Washington, DC. These portions of the program will occur in Spring and Fall 2011. Also, U.S. fellows will travel to the partner countries during a three-week period in the summer of 2011.

The goal of the Professional Fellows Program is to create opportunities for professionals in the field of climate change to come together and share information and strategies for reducing carbon emissions. Participants will exchange ideas and best practices developed in each country, and share information on education and communication campaigns for those working in urban and rural areas that are most vulnerable to environmental devastation resulting from climate change.

"We are eager to begin working with The International Center on one of the most pressing issues of our time, and grateful to the Department of State for its support," said Stan Altman, Professor in the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College. "This effort builds on work currently being done at Baruch by our Task Force on Sustainability, the Newman Real Estate Institute and others. Our goal for this program is to bring the best ideas, and the brightest people working in the field, together to solve some of the problems we face in regards to climate change."

"The International Center has a long track record of working on environmental issues, between the work of the New Forests Project and our work with EDF, GE and BSR on climate change issues in Vietnam," said Executive Director Robert Schiffer. "We are excited to expand our work with this funding from the Department of State and look forward to working with Baruch College on this promising initiative."

The International Center and Baruch College will work with partners abroad to select, through a merit-based, competitive process, participants for the Fellows Program. The Center and Baruch College will also develop the structure of the program in each of the Near East and Pacific participating countries.

Domestically, Baruch College will help select Fellows from the U.S. to travel abroad, and will oversee the workshops that will be conducted in New York City for Fellows from abroad. Workshops will cover topics such as:

  • Strategies to reduce solid waste through changes in packaging and increased use of recycling;

  • The challenges of building sustainable economies while preserving the environment;

  • Strategies for the management of climate change in urban settings.

Baruch College faculty will also organize internships for Fellows that will allow the knowledge and lessons learned during the workshops to be implemented in the field. Fellows will work with officials from New York City government, including the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection, as well as private businesses and NGOs. The internships will immerse Fellows in work on climate change, real estate, transportation and other related issues.

The Professional Fellows from the participating partner countries will take part in a Washington, DC-based Professional Fellows Congress to be held by the State Department in Spring and Fall 2011. During this portion of the trip, participants will have an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with other grantee organizations supported under this program.

CONTACT: Mercedes Sanchez,
646-660-6112; Mercedes.Sanchez@baruch.cuny.edu or
Joseph House, 202-580-6950; jhouse@theintlcenter.org