News Briefs

Vermonters learn about challenges, opportunities to combat climate change

NORTHFIELD—Vermonters heard about opportunities to continue our work toward the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by learning about the US Partnership for Sustainable Energy for All (US-SEforALL), at a conference hosted at Norwich University. More than 50 leaders representing state and local government, educational and environmental organizations, the business and employment sectors, and youth were present to learn more and celebrate Vermont’s role.

William W. Clements, vice president and dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Norwich University, highlighted the opportunities that international students, global connections, and climate change will bring to their Center for Global Resilience and Security.

Allan Bear, president of Renewable Nations Institute, shared a vision for the development and implementation of the US Partnership for SEforALL, saying, “I look forward to collaborating on the launch of this initiative with public/private partners in Vermont, in collaboration with the United Nations and the World Bank.”

As part of his Youth Initiative, Lt. Governor Zuckerman hosted the event. “I am so pleased to see the great opportunities the US Partnership for Sustainable Energy for All is creating for youth, our state, and our climate,” he said, “Vermont has a huge opportunity to impact the world and to create jobs here in our own state. Of equal importance, this initiative engages youth with the tools they need to understand the climate crisis and see how their service and actions can directly impact their communities. I am so excited to support the growth of this partnership and look forward to continuing to build Vermont’s reputation as a leader in sustainable energy education and development.”

Montpelier Mayor John Hollar, a member of the U.S. Climate Mayors, shared his commitment to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and stated, “Today, 97 percent of scientists believe that humans cause climate change, yet only about half of Americans believe that is true. That disparity has created enormous obstacles to enacting the policy changes that we need. If 97 percent of Americans believed that humans caused global warming, we would be well on our way to creating a sustainable economy.”

Patty McGrath, Killington Select Board chair, discussed jobs in the new economy with Lt. Governor Zuckerman and Mayor Hollar. McGrath observed, “It’s clear the new job growth areas are two-fold — taking care of ourselves and taking care of the planet.”

Renewable Nations Institute plans to make Northfield its permanent home and to employ up to 200 Vermonters in the delivery of the US Partnership for SEforALL. This will enable 81 low- and middle-income countries to identify, analyze and build investment grade sustainable energy project proposals to qualify for UN SEforALL arranged institutional funds.

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