The University of Connecticut hosted an inaugural sustainable clean energy summit in partnership with Eversource on Tuesday.
At the event, UConn President Radenka Maric, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and the White House’s first-ever Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy took the stage in UConn’s Student Union Theater.
The all-day event, which began at 9 a.m. and ran until 4:30 p.m., featured panel discussions, guest speakers and student project presentations.
In his speech, Gov. Lamont highlighted the ways in which Maric, the UConn community and their partnership with Eversource are necessary components in creating more renewable energy in less expensive ways for the state.
“We need Radenka and all the firepower that UConn can bring to this table, along with Eversource who brings practical aid to what we’re trying to accomplish everyday,” Lamont said.
In addition to Gov. Lamont’s praise of UConn’s role in making the state of Connecticut more green, he also talked about his personal hopes and missions for the state’s future.
“I want to get more and more cars off our streets,” said Lamont. “We are doubling down on housing projects across the state’s urban centers with most of the new developments being close to rail centers. Our rail system is going to speed up, taking up to 10 or 15 minutes off commutes. My goal is to see how we can change the dynamics of how people live throughout Connecticut.”
Additionally, Gov. Lamont highlighted his mission on improving parks around the state. So far, $15 million has been allocated for the sole purpose of planting roughly 100,000 trees.
In addition to being first-ever climate advisor for the White House, keynote speaker McCarthy acted as a former administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In her speech, McCarthy praised Maric’s emphasis on UConn being a research one university.
“President Maric, I want to thank you for your commitment and professionalism,” McCarthy said “You have truly helped to turn UConn into quite an amazing and sound research facility.”
McCarthy closed out her speech with emphasis on the attitude which she thinks is necessary for UConn, Eversource and the state of Connecticut to adopt in order to see positive change for the climate.
“Today, I am going to ask you to stop whining about climate and instead talk about hope and think about the optimism of today and a world of possibility and partnerships,” McCarthy said “That is the only way in which change is going to happen.”