For Immediate Release
Event Date: Saturday, October 28th, 2017
Contact: Renee Vogelsang, 315-380-2708
Abigail McHugh-Grifa, 607-342-4334
Neely Kelley, 585-451-9875
More than 200 People Joined Together for the First NY Climate Solutions Summit on October 28 in Rochester, New York
Rochester, NY – A coalition of organizations: The Harley School, Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, Alliance for Clean Energy NY, New Yorkers for Clean Power, Mothers Out Front, NY-GEO, Frack Action and the Alliance for a Green Economy organized the first-ever NY Climate Solutions Summit on Saturday, October 28th at the Harley School in Rochester, NY. The summit is part of a growing momentum in New York to build a larger movement across the state that is prepared to take action to implement effective climate solutions. The summit provided an opportunity for both new and experienced clean energy and climate organizers from across Central and Western NY to come together to share projects, case studies, resources, experiences and skills to tackle climate change and implement solutions.
The Summit exceeded expectations with more than 200 people in attendance from Buffalo, Rochester, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and the Capital Region.
The summit received press coverage in Albany and Rochester:
- Rochester City Newspaper
- Connections with Evan Dawson in Rochester
- Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter featuring Sandra Steingraber
Morning Keynote Speaker, Aaron Mair kicked off the summit with an impassioned talk: “Repeal and Replace the Dirty Energy Agenda.” The “T-Rex Economy” and the “pollutocracy,” are threatening to destroy our democracy. The political fight for just transition is our path forward,” Mair said.
The Opening Panelists included, Anne Reynolds with Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), Bill Nowak with New York State Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO), Amanda Lefton with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Chris Carrick with Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board.
In the morning, participants had the choice of attending case studies on wind and solar energy, environmental justice, land use, transportation, energy efficiency, and renewable heating and cooling- ground (geothermal) and air source heat pumps.
Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation, Turtle Clan Faithkeeper and internationally renowned advocate for the rights of indigenous people, addressed the crowd at lunchtime. “Peace is not the absence of war, Peace is hard work,” Lyons said.
And in the afternoon, workshops on technical and movement building skills included: Engaging across political ideology, The opportunities and challenges of creating an anti-racist environmental justice movement,Recruit, Train, and Sustain: Building Grassroots Volunteer Leadership, Understanding how our electricity system works, and Lobbying 101 to name just a few! Presenters came from local, grassroots, state and national groups.
Acclaimed ecologist, author and leader of the successful anti-fracking movement in NYS, Sandra Steingraber, closed out the conference with words of hope. Don’t miss the documentary “Unfractured,” featuring Steingraber.
It was an amazing and inspiring day. Attendees shared their thoughts:
- “EJ (Environmental Justice) case study speakers were amazing.”
- Congratulations on organizing an excellent conference! It was a stimulating and encouraging day. The keynotes speakers and panelists were thoughtful and inspiring.
- “I only wish I could have attended more workshops!”
- “Wow (for anti-racist Environmental Justice Movement workshop). The intersection of race, justice, and climate were the most powerful!”
- “Linda Pratt on how to engage across political ideologies, though not directly relevant to climate solutions, was terrific and incredibly important.”
- “Fabulous programming. Congratulations and thank you to your wonderful planners and volunteers.”
- “KUDOS ON THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS!!”
Governor Cuomo and New York State has proposed one of the strongest mandates for renewables in the nation, calling for 50% renewable energy by 2030 (50 by 30) and a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The state has also set ambitious goals for electric vehicles and EV infrastructure, calling for 30,000 EVs on the road in NY by 2018 and 1 million by 2025.
The 2017 Climate Solutions Summit set us on a collective path to achieve these ambitious climate goals. As Sandra Steingraber wrote: “Implementing meaningful climate solutions requires two Herculean actions. We need to slam the door shut on further fossil fuel build-out — including gas-fired power plants and the pipelines, compressor stations, and storage depots that feed them — while, at the same time, throwing the door open to renewable energy technologies. And this commitment to innovation must be carried out with jobs and justice for all, which means we need to assemble not just solar panels but a powerful social movement. As the NY Climate Solutions Summit shows, New Yorkers are up for the task. Roll up your sleeves.”