Plenary II: Tracing fossil fuel companies’ contributions to ocean warming, acidification and sea level rise

Scientists know today that a significant percentage of warming, ocean acidification and the increase in global sea level rise can be traced to the emissions from products of 88 major fossil fuel producers and cement manufacturers. This presentation will explain how science is able to trace these changes to responsible parties, and the audience will learn where this science is being used by states and municipalities in courtrooms across the country to hold these companies accountable and to pay their fair share of the costs of climate impacts.

Brenda Ekwurzel, Union of Concerned Scientists

Brenda Ekwurzel is a senior climate scientist and the director of climate science for the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). In her role, she ensures that program analyses reflect robust and relevant climate science, and researches the influence of major carbon producers on rising global average temperatures and sea level. Dr. Ekwurzel is a co-author of the fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) Volume II. Prior to joining UCS, Dr. Ekwurzel was on the faculty of the University of Arizona in their department of hydrology and water resources, with a joint appointment in the geosciences department. In 2016, she was named a AAAS fellow, and cited for her “distinguished contributions to analysis and outreach aimed at strengthening support for sound U.S. climate policies, and making the science of climate change accessible to diverse audiences.” 

She has appeared on ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Good Morning America, NBC News, NPR, and The Colbert Report, and has been cited by Associated Press, New York Times, Reuters, USA Today and Washington Post.