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Confronting the Reality of Climate Change

In 2014, President Barack Obama famously said, “We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.” Four years later, as Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) convened its 11th annual conference, the growing sense of urgency was palpable. The title of the conference said it all: “The End of the World as We Know It: The Consequences of Extreme Climate Disruption for Business and Democracy.” Speakers reviewed the scientific evidence of human-caused climate change, catalogued the dire consequences of insufficient action and examined the ways in which the business community, the military and government at all levels are responding, or failing to respond, to the challenge.

This special report looks at key themes to emerge from the conference, along with additional information, in order to present an overarching view of where the confrontation with climate change stands today.

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