Initial Publication Date: March 30, 2022

CLEAN Teleconference Call November 28, 2017

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Provenance: Daniela Pennycook, University of Colorado at Boulder
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Climate Education and Opportunities Collective Impact Summit

Abstract: The Climate Education and Opportunities Collective Impact Summit was held on September 5 – 8, 2017 at the Redford Conference Center, Sundance Mountain Resort in Sundance Utah.

The purpose of the Climate Education and Opportunities Collective Impact Summit was to help cities and counties reach the net zero emissions by 2050 needed to achieve the Paris Agreement's aspiration for a 1.5 degree world. At the summit, it was confirmed that effective climate change education, civic engagement, and workforce development can support communities to reach their climate goals. The Summit envisioned how effective education programs can support municipal leaders for the coming decades by connecting them with national climate change education professionals who can help them seize the opportunities of a post-carbon and climate resilient future.

Among the many issues discussed were the ways in which effective climate change education, engagement, and workforce development can support community climate actions;

  • Few issues facing our society are more urgent than reducing our vulnerability to climate impacts and preparing for the staggering transitions to a low-carbon economy.
  • Making the case for climate action is one of the leading challenges that cities face in undertaking ambitious urban climate action.
  • Our city and state schools, higher education, and free choice learning institutions can become better prepared or focused on this critical issue.
  • Extensive federal climate change education and related philanthropic investments can support state and local climate actions.
  • Through the activation of American communities' extensive education systems, we have the opportunity to showcase the adaptability of our cities, embrace a low-carbon future, and inspire our future leaders to create a healthy and prosperous America.

The issues discussed at this Summit were not raised in isolation, but in the context of social realities, including limited funds, political interests, and competing values of educational investments. Cities, county councils, and states are now leading the American response to a changing climate, incubating social innovation and generating new experiments so that they can prevail in the face of unprecedented change.
To support these ambitious climate change goals over the coming decades, investments in both making the case for climate action and creating inspirational and pedagogically sound climate education learning opportunities are a moral imperative and a great investment in our future.
This Summit was primarily supported by the National Science Foundation funded Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) Alliance, Climate Education Partners-University of San Diego, the National Wildlife Federation, New Knowledge Organization Ltd, and the Redford Center in coordination with the Tri-Agency Climate Change Education Collaborative and the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN). We were joined by colleagues from across the nation's climate education community who have synthesized a decade of federal agency and philanthropic literacy initiatives to support the Summit's outcomes.
This CLEAN telecon will explore the next steps from the summit including:

  • Post Summit analysis and write report
  • City/County summit deliverables for the leaders
  • Follow up with the City/County leaders and explore the next steps in their climate actions
    Finish the Climate Change Education Effective Practices Toolkit
  • Explore the establishment of the Network/Collaborative to support City/County climate actions
  • Build the funding supports
  • Build the strategy developed at the Summit

Summit Steering Committee:

Frank Niepold, CLEAN Network
John Fraser, New Knowledge Organization Ltd.
Carey Stanton, National Wildlife Federation
Gail Scowcroft, University of Rhode Island
Andrea Gingras, University of Rhode Island

Bio: Frank Niepold is the Climate Education Coordinator at NOAA's Climate Program Office in Silver Spring Maryland, Education section lead, a co-chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Education Interagency Working Group, the U.S. Climate Action Report Education, Training, and Outreach chapter lead for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Education and Youth delegate for the United States at the 2015 Conference of Parties (COP21), and a member of the Federal Steering Committee for the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4).
At NOAA, he develops and implements NOAA's Climate goal education and outreach efforts that specifically relate to NOAA's Climate goal and literacy objective. Frank is the "Teaching Climate" lead for NOAA's web portal that offers learning activities and curriculum materials, multi-media resources, and professional development opportunities for formal and informal educators who want to incorporate climate science into their work.

Additionally, he is the managing lead of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) document, Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science. NOAA, NSF, NASA, AAAS Project 2061, CIRES, American Meteorological Society, and various members from both the science and education community worked to define climate literacy in the United States.

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