Call to Action: Crossing the Political Divide to Address Climate Challenges


Location: Washington Hall Map

Join us for the first keynote event for this year’s Forum on September 10, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. EDT in Washington Hall.  “Call to Action: Crossing the Political Divide to Address Climate Challenges” will feature NBC News’ chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson, ND ‘79, in a “fireside chat” with U.S. Senator Chris Coons, co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. The discussion will explore how we can work together across political lines to build a sustainable future and the actions the U.S. government can take both domestically and internationally to make meaningful progress.

First elected to the Senate in 2010, Coons has made climate challenges one of his legislative priorities. In addition to founding and chairing the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus with Sen. Mike Braun, Coons has led several pieces of bipartisan legislation, including the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act, Partnerships for Energy Security and Innovation Act and the Financing Our Energy Future Act, which would take important steps to support energy efficiency and clean energy research, development and deployment.

Coons earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and political science from Amherst College, his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School and a master’s degree in ethics from Yale Divinity School. He serves on the Senate’s Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Ethics committees. 

The environmental affairs correspondent for NBC News since 2007, Thompson covered all aspects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and has traveled the globe reporting on alternative fuels, global warming, land usage, new technologies and other topics related to the environment and climate change. She previously served as chief financial correspondent for NBC News and is the recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished business and financial journalism.

A Notre Dame graduate and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees since 2010, Thompson was a reporter for four years at WNDU-TV in South Bend, as well as with the NBC affiliates in St. Louis and Detroit.

Doors open at 2 pm. Masks will be required and we ask all attendees to adhere to current University COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Those who wish to participate via live stream will be able to do so here on the day of the event.

For group reservations, please email

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