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Developing practical solutions to climate change

Developing practical solutions to climate change

As Director of the International Renewable Energy Academy (IREA), Co-Chair of the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI), and founding member of Project Climate ChangeProfessor Jose Etcheverry is focused on developing practical solutions to climate change through collaborative efforts with various partners and stakeholders. He is part of York University’s Board of Governors and the Senate Executive where he is working with colleagues towards achieving a carbon-free university that can provide a world-class location for learning-by- doing on how to solve the climate change emergency declared by the Canadian Federal Government.

Dr. Etcheverry is also part of an international expert group that is working with the World Wind Energy Association and the Danish Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy in the development of a global network of online and experiential educational resources focused on renewable energy. The network is expected to contribute to the success of Natural Resources Canada’s RETScreen International Training Institute towards analyzing the potential for sustainable energy at York University. Prior to York, Dr. Etcheverry worked in a variety of international research and policy analyst roles in government, the private sector, and NGOs, including the David Suzuki Foundation, the Global Environment Facility, and the Electricity Research Institute of Mexico. 

As Director of IREA, Dr. Etcheverry plans to expand its three solar labs at York University as Climate Solutions Parks and to develop new locations internationally that will provide new experiential learning for students and research opportunities focused on electric mobility, storage, renewable energy as well as leadership strategies for citizens of the 200 UN countries that want to solve climate change. IREA was formed at York University to meet the rapidly growing need to develop a group of leaders focused on the principles of achieving 100% renewable energy through a strong community focus that emphasizes experiential learning and constant innovation.

“The world needs a new ecosystem of innovation and experiential learning focused on implementing climate change solutions at all educational levels –and in as many countries as possible. My work is focused on addressing the climate change crisis by developing – locally and internationally — an ecosystem of innovation focused on providing new practical opportunities for those interested in designing and implementing paradigm-shifting climate change solutions,” he elaborates

In December 2020, IREA formed a new practical collaborative agreement with Costa Rica’s Earth Charter Secretariat to advance COVID-safe educational initiatives focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). The agreement aims at developing an innovative sustainable development educational and knowledge mobilization partnership to advance the adoption of the UNSDGs in as many educational organizations as possible. 

A Chilean by birth and Canadian by choice, Dr. Etcheverry has a dream, that is: to create in Chile the first sustainable city on the continent with solar energy. To help achieve that goal and to advance international collaboration, IREA has established a new collaborative agreement with Chile’s leading renewable energy high school, Liceo Rodulfo Amando Philippi (LRAP) that will allow new local community initiatives and online training in Spanish to be implemented to ensure that local teachers and students can continue to expand their knowledge base in renewable energy,  electric transportation solutions, sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, and local strategies for addressing the UNSDG’s in Paillaco and the surrounding communities of Southern Chile.  

“This new collaborative agreement will fast-track the implementation of new local strategies that will benefit young people to ensure that they can apply sustainability principles to create new local economic opportunities that protect the environment and public health while advancing the local quality of life,” Dr. Etcheverry notes. 

Dr. Etcheverry received the York University President’s Sustainability Leadership Award in 2016. He joined the York University Senate in 2018, the York Board of Governors in 2019, and currently serves as Associate Editor in the Journal of Energy Storage. He is also a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of The International Renewable Energy Storage Conference; Board Member of the Windfall Ecology Centre; and Committee of Chairpersons of the World Council for Renewable Energy, a global organization that develops and promotes policies at various institutional levels towards the use renewable energy, storage and other practical solutions to the climate emergency.

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