Past efforts under the CAP have focused mostly on what is known as climate change "mitigation," strategies for creating overall reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and otherwise reducing the carbon footprint of the University. The inclusion of a climate change "adaptation" piece will bring us into new territory - seeing the University tap its resources that monitor, document and describe climate change impacts that are already occurring, and are projected to occur. This important research by our scientists and economists is increasingly needed as major decisions are made at the community and state level. Everything from community storm water management to valuation of farmland to summer electric grid capacity, will be impacted by climate change.
As a major land-grant University with a strong focus on natural sciences, UConn is well positioned to provide expertise that will be crucial in making statewide and regional land-use policies, upgrading infrastructure, making recommendations on energy and grid usage, augmenting emergency response and providing the tools for improving sustainability in local economies. The vision of the ad-hoc task force is to build off of our great resource base in order to maintain, improve and expand on UConn activities that comprise the nuts and bolts of local, state and global climate change adaptation strategies. When President Herbst renews UConn's commitment to the CAP in March, she will be ushering in a new era of thinking about climate change. UConn will be among the first major universities to incorporate an adaptation section into its CAP.