This May, MomentUs hosted the 2015 Climate Leadership Summit, bringing together leaders from across multiple sectors of society—health, higher education, business, faith, and local municipalities—to discuss potential areas to accelerate and amplify action on climate solutions nationwide. The summit put the spotlight on one key theme—energy. Unlike typical climate summits, the energy discussion had nothing to do with wind, solar, or even carbon emission reductions. Rather, the summit focused on ways to develop, facilitate, and energize leaders who could take real action on climate change.
Each working group held discussions, and was tasked with developing concrete recommendations to guide leaders from within their sector. Community leaders included Hon. Greg Nickels, Hon. Elizabeth Kautz, Jonathan Parfrey, Brendan Shane, and Garrett Fitzgerald. These leaders led the discussion for Path to Positive, which focuses on empowering communities and civic leaders to advance climate solutions. They outlined five key recommendations.
5 Key Recommendations
- Job creation: Cities and communities should facilitate the creation of well paying green jobs. Research shows that green collar employment is growing faster than ever. City leaders should help businesses, non-profits, and local municipalities create jobs that are good for employers, employees, and the environment.
- Effective communication: Leaders must educate the public on the opportunities that action on climate change will bring to the community. Stability, growth, and prosperity are all consistent with the implementation of climate-wise policies. Dialogue that emphasizes the connection between climate solutions and long term stability will be most effective.
- Connected leaders: Building a strong leadership network that can work together, across sectors, will help produce successful climate action. Leaders can rely on each other for support, ideas, and input on effective climate leadership strategies.
- Informed Citizens: Residents need to know how climate change will affect them and their community. Leadership in cities inspires city officials and citizens to participate and get involved in climate solutions.
- Community engagement: Climate action is collaborative. Leaders must listen to and work with citizens towards solutions. The focus should be on concrete actions that individuals can take, and should foster civic participation.
The overarching theme of the panel’s recommendation is that leaders must be immersed in their community. They must appreciate local concerns, have a shared interest, and be able to understand the contextual nuances unique to each community. Cities, large and small, have proven to be on the forefront of implementing climate change solutions. With the help of the five recommendations developed at the 2015 Climate Leadership Summit, community leaders can empower local residents and magnify their impact as climate change stewards.
To learn more about what leaders at the summit had to say, check out the full report. Or, if you would like to help lead America forward on climate solutions alongside other leaders, join the Path to Positive today.
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