United Nations Association chapters throughout the United States are hosting two virtual forums on “Mutually Assured Survival: Priorities for Climate Action”: the first takes place during the UN Climate Week on September 23rd followed by a second event in January 2023 on the heels of the UN’s 27th Climate Conference (COP 27). Both forums aim to raise awareness and mobilize support for the most compelling and urgent solutions on Climate Change involving national, state, and local governments, civil society, and the private sector. The in-depth discussions will focus specifically on priority policies, financing, and collaborative actions to halt global warming and implement commitments from all sectors (public and private) to reduce carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030 in a just and sustainable manner.
The first forum on September 23rd, before COP 27, prioritizes the most urgent policies and programs to implement in the USA and internationally, recognizing needs and opportunities for USA leadership with other nations to reinforce commitments and their fulfillment, with two panels:
A panel of thought leaders from across all sectors will discuss the prioritization of immediate policies and commitments to halt the climate crisis, nationally and internationally. Reviewing last years’ outcome from COP26, the panelists take an honest look at the progress made, identify and analyze missed opportunities that are paramount for the November COP27 gathering that may well be our last hope for a “mutually assured survival”.
As climate change is gravely affecting human security and undermines achievements of the Global Community on its Sustainable Development (SDGs) efforts, this panel will explore and chart the course for preeminent collective actions that require unprecedented partnerships across sectors of government, civil society and private sector. Recognizing that nature is not discriminatory, the panelists focus the discussion on inclusive climate actions that prioritize and protect the most vulnerable and marginalized population.
As President of the Better World Campaign and Senior Vice President at the United Nations Foundation, Peter Yeo leads the Foundation’s strategic engagement with the U.S. Congress and Administrations to advance policy changes that support the UN’s work for global progress.
An advocate for the intersectionality of a girl child and the climate. "To me educating a girl is educating the nation and climate smart urban farming is a solution to climate crisis."
University of California Berkeley Professor of Energy, Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, co-Director of Berkeley Institute of Environment, Goldman School of Public Policy; USAID Advisor; Nobel Laureate and a principal or contributing author of UN IPCC reports; formerly US Department of State Science Envoy and World Bank energy expert.
Fiekowsky’s mission in life is to leave a world we’re proud of to our children. In service to that mission, Fiekowsky has a 30-year track record as a citizen lobbyist for global poverty reduction and climate policy. A decade ago he turned to researching how to restore our climate.
Nancy Helen Sutley led the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for five years during the administration of Barack Obama. She was unanimously confirmed for that post by the United States Senate on January 22, 2009. The CEQ coordinates federal environmental efforts and works with agencies other than White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives; the chair serves as the principal environmental policy advisor to the president.
Tony Pipa is a senior fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution. Tony launched and leads the Local Leadership on the SDGs initiative that works with mayors and local institutions to advance sustainable development by solving local problems through evidence-based policies. He is also leading a partnership with the UN Foundation to advance SDG implementation in the US.
Himaja Nagireddy, from Acton, MA, is a proud daughter of South Indian immigrants. She is currently a health equity research fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She recently graduated with an MS (SM-80) in Environmental Epidemiology with a concentration in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she was selected as a 2021 Presidential Public Service Fellow.
Tanja Srebotnjak is the Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College. In this role, Tanja develops, facilitates, and executes the college's sustainability strategy, including on climate, circularity of resource use, and sustainable food and land use management. Together with campus partners, Tanja is deeply involved in developing a groundbreaking Energy and Carbon Master Plan to cut campus emissions by at least 80 percent with a view toward net-zero. Recently, she spearheaded the self-assessment that led to Williams’ first-ever STARS Gold Level certification by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). She holds a PhD in environmental statistics and policy from the Yale School of the Environment.
Peter is a retired doctor, after nearly 40 years in practice as a family physician, first in England and then in Newfoundland and British Columbia, Canada. When his sons were born, he became actively involved in environmental, peace, and sustainable development issues, especially as they relate to children's health. Fatherhood created that urge to leave the world a better place as a legacy for his children. Peter was part of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War -IPPNW, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. As a founding director of CAPE - Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Peter has presented on sustainable development and environmental health policy issues in Canada and the United States. Peter has since launched the Climate Emergency Institute and is the force behind Climate Change Emergency Medical Response for healthcare professionals. Peter is also an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - IPCC 2014, 2018, and the co-author with Elizabeth Woodworth of Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival, with Clarity Press.
Barry was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Attended the University of Oregon and graduated from Portland State University, majoring in business and psychology. He has lived in San Francisco, Marin County, CA, Florence Italy, and currently resides in Santa Monica, CA
The events of the 60’s and 70’s (assassinations, war, poverty, etc.) led to his commitment to make a difference, to improve the quality of life for all people. To that end, he began a career in financial services to assist others in living a fulfilled life, and achieving their financial goals.
In addition, Barry created “Conversations for Peace” – a project giving people around the world an opportunity to express themselves, be heard, understood and appreciated. Guests are invited to share “what would be possible in their community, in the nation, and in the world if people could all get along?” “What would that be like?” “What would that make available?”
To further his commitment to a world that works for everyone, Barry has been an active member of Rotary International, as well as being a 16 year member and past President of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), Southern California Region.
Barry also enjoys playing golf, riding his bike, talking politics, traveling, and personal growth and development seminars.
Barbara Gaughen-Muller is a peacemaker, author, speaker, radio host, visionary and consultant to world leaders. She co-authored Revolutionary Conversations: The Tools You Need for the Success You Want showing how peace begins with us. Her weekly Peace Podcast with World Peacemakers are available on PeacePodcast.org and on PeacePodcastYouTube. Barbara is president, UNA-socal.org and co-created the Santa Barbara UNA Peace Prize to honor peacemakers working locally on global problems and the 2022 Peace Prize goes to Shelter Box.
Joshua is an academic, advocate, author, analyst and activist based in Hawaii. Joshua is serving a second term on UNA-USA National Council.
Cooper holds positions of Senior Global Advocacy Manager; Senior Policy Counsel International Advocacy; Senior Director of Communications & Community Engagement; Senior Director of Global Governance & International Initiatives; Senior Director of Research, Policy & Law with multiple peoples movements, NGOs, and human rights defenders associations
Cooper is active in the development and climate change advocacy. Cooper attends the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conferences of Parties since Copenhagen through Paris including current Talanoa initiatives. Cooper participated in the negotiations from the Rio+20 Summit to the adoption at the UN General Assembly of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Cooper advises Major Groups and Other Stakeholders in the UN Voluntary National Reviews for the High Level Political Forum and is mobilizing subnational initiatives such as Voluntary Local Reviews spearheaded by cities.
UNA-USA, President Northern California Division; Director and past President - East Bay Chapter, National Council Regional Representative; United Nations Development Program (UNDP) 1972-2003.
Mel joined the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) in 2004 and has served as a local, regional and national leader of UNA-USA. He currently serves as Pomona Valley Vice-President of Advocacy. Mel led the Southern California United Nations Post-2015 Agenda discussion which helped inform the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (a.k.a. Global Goals) in 2016.
Mel is an economist, with a B.A. with honor from Michigan State University with a Masters and PhD coursework from Cornell University. He served 25 years for Pennsylvania and Minnesota state governments before retiring as head of the Minnesota Office of Technology in 2002.
Mel is married to veterinarian Beth Boynton. He is a USMC veteran, has traveled to 38 countries and is politically active, a sailor, history buff, singer, avid bicyclist, and regular social media user.
Maria Amalla serves as the Manager of Grassroots Advocacy for UNA-USA and focuses on strategy and implementation tactics to increase grassroots engagement. She develops and facilitates advocacy events and training to empower UNA-USA members with skills, knowledge, and tools needed to take effective action in promoting UNA-USA goals and mission.
Maria is a former congressional staffer, having served as Staff Assistant, Scheduler, and Legislative Correspondent for a Senior Member of the House of Representatives. She has traveled extensively through Latin America and is a native Spanish speaker. She also graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in political science.
Melinda Howard-Herrarte joined UNA-USA in 2013 as an intern with the East Bay Chapter. Since then she has held various volunteer leader roles at the chapter, division, and national level, at present serving concurrent terms as President of the East Bay Chapter, Vice President of the Northern California Division, and is the only Northern Californian on UNA-USA's National Council. She holds an MBA in International Business and works as a project manager.
Subject matter expert, UN Sustainable Development Goals, Extensive experience in Renewables, Biotechnology, Defense & Space, Government & Management Consulting, UN agencies. President & Chair, UNA San Diego. Representative to UN Economic & Social Council. Regional Officer, UNA National Council. Board Member, PopCulture Hero Coalition.