Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Rutland forum to explore next steps for Vermont’s climate change economy

Wednesday, Aug. 26—RUTLAND—Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change—both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state’s economy.

What are your experiences? Do you have ideas that can help nurture this sector in Vermont? The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) encourages the pubic to join Rutland mayor Chris Louras and local business leaders for a forum, “What’s Next for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy?” The event will take place at the Paramount Theatre, Center Street in Rutland, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. Two other forums are planned: in Burlington on Sept. 17 and in Brattleboro on Oct. 6.

“Rutland is bridging the gap, between being ready for the impacts of climate change and building businesses to confront it and reduce our contribution to it,” says Mayor Louras. “I encourage Vermonters from throughout the region to share their ideas during this forum.”

“We have an opportunity to lead in the climate economy, attract and nurture entrepreneurism, build on the Vermont brand, and support the future prosperity of our communities,” explained VCRD executive director Paul Costello. “The forums will bring Vermonters together to share their ideas about how to advance the state’s economic future.”

The regional forum is the next step for public input to the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council. This group, formed following a statewide summit in February, is developing a practical plan to reduce carbon emissions and stimulate green economic development in Vermont. Panelists include Joe Fusco, vice president of Casella Waste Systems; Betsy Ide, of the Energy Innovation Center at Green Mountain Power; and Mark Foley, Jr., president of Foley Services.

The summit focused on economic development in a time of climate change, including transportation, education, investment strategies, downtown redevelopment, tourism, and efficiency. The report provides excellent background material for the forum:

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