Varun Rai

Dr. Varun Rai

Drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions will be the focus of Washington & Jefferson College’s next energy webinar.

W&J’s Center for Energy Policy and Management will present “Decarbonization: Pathways to a Sustainable Future” beginning at 11 a.m. Sept. 22. The program is free and available to the public.

Dr. Varun Rai, an expert on energy transition and adoption of sustainable energy technologies, will speak. Rai is a professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, where he directs the school’s Energy Systems Transformation Research Group and its Energy Institute.

The goal of the Paris agreement, an international treaty that includes the United States, is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels. Cutting CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions is considered to be paramount to achieving a climate neutral world by around 2050.

Doing this will entail reducing or eliminating usage of fossil fuels; switching fuel sources; adopting more renewable energy sources; improved technology; and government commitment.

Rai, a professor in the mechanical engineering department at Texas, will discuss decarbonization basics, technologies to achieve an energy transition, policies and other matters.

The webinar is approved for Continuing Legal Education in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. For information, email the Washington County Bar Association at

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Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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