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A Tale of Two Coasts

Leah at mini-summitAs Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas, on the other side of the country more than 4,000 delegates have converged for the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) and the unveiling of more than 500 new climate commitments. The Summit, taking place in San Francisco and at 325 affiliate events, seeks to create momentum across sectors and geographies to mount an effective response to climate challenge.

 

Thinking globally, BuzzWord’s Lorraine Smith, wearing one of her many other hats, co-authored a Volans white paper that offers an urgent but optimistic look at climate change, arguing that we must learn to see it not only as a source of existential risk, but also as a source of immense opportunity for all sectors, well beyond the energy companies. Context and leading examples are described in greater detail in the report. Well worth a read.

 

Acting locally, BuzzWord was a sponsor of a GCAS affiliate event focused on climate change solutions in Montgomery County, Maryland. With a diverse population greater than that of eight states and a mix of urban, suburban, natural and agricultural lands, Montgomery County is a microcosm of many climate challenges and opportunities. In late 2017, the County Council passed an emergency resolution that established ambitious climate goals, including 100 percent GHG reduction by 2035. The affiliate “mini-summit,” organized by One Montgomery Green, convened advocates, community members and County officials to explore solutions that can contribute to meeting the goals. A report summarizing recommendations is available here.

 

What strikes me is that despite the contentious nature of the issue at the national policy level, the spirit of these events and explorations is creative and collaborative. The scale of the problem invites bold thinking and innovation as well as focused application of known solutions — and demands cooperation to secure our common future. That’s what we are finding in the human community, even as Mother Nature drives the point home.

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