Bedford 2020 Summit




Bedford 2020 is inviting citizens, environmenal leaders and elected officals to come together at Fox Lane High School, in Bedford, to address the urgent need for immediate, local and regional action to create and implement solutions to climate change. The Bedford 2020 Climate Action Summit, set for February 3, will bring together experts, innovators and changemakers with the goal of enlisting and empowering attendees to take action.

“We are building a network of local and regional activists, leaders and decisionmakers to scale up climate action in our region,” says Ellen Rouse Conrad, who along with Mary Beth Kass co-chairs the summit and cofounded Bedford 2020. “The goal of the summit is to empower individuals and communities to take action in the fight against climate change and for them to see tangible results from their efforts.”

More than 80 environmental entities from three regions, elected officials representing more than 40 towns, and hundreds of climate activists and concerned citizens are expected to participate.

The summit will focus on the areas with the greatest potential for powerful and immediate solutions to climate change, Kass says. “Attendees will come together around solutions that can achieve impact quickly and at scale, including region-wide 100 percent renewable energy supply, leveraging electric vehicles to create a clean energy economy, food choice and soil health as tools for fighting carbon pollution and pollinator-friendly solar.”

The day will start with a call to action and keynote addresses from David Gelber, creator and executive producer of Years of Living Dangerously, and David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society, followed by a kickoff session, How Do we Get to 100% Renewable Energy? Experts will discuss existing high-impact solutions, such as community solar, rooftop solar, community choice aggregated energy purchases, electric vehicles and battery storage.

Each of the next three hour-long sessions will feature three subjects discussed by national and state leaders at the forefront of implementing or creating powerful climate solutions. Attendees will have an unparalleled opportunity to collaborate with, learn from and be inspired by these experts and innovators, including Brent Kim, program officer of Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future; Lynn Arthur, chair of South Hampton Sustainability Committee; Noam Bramson, mayor of the City of New Rochelle; Eric Pooley, senior vice president for strategy and communications for the Environmental Defense Fund; and many others.

The following topics will be discussed in the sessions:

  • Bringing Clean Energy Home: Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) – The benefits of aggregated energy purchases, current and emerging CCA models, and how to demand CCA in your own community.
  • Electric Vehicles: On the Road to Our Clean Energy Future – From clean transportation to battery storage to resiliency, how EVs lay the groundwork for a clean energy economy.
  • Locally Generated Renewables: Take Charge – How programs like Solarize, Community Solar, Geothermal and Demand Response put the consumer in charge of energy supply and usage.
  • Pollinator-Friendly Solar – How NY State can advance renewable energy, protect pollinators and support local agriculture.
  • Carbon Tax: What is it? Why Should I Care? What Can I do? – The pros, cons and major hurdles to enacting a carbon tax, and how to support a NY State tax on carbon pollution.
  • Communicating about Climate Change – How to create inspired messaging about climate change in order to mobilize the public.
  • Food and Fumes – How a small shift toward plant-based foods has an outsized impact on carbon emissions.
  • Reducing Food Waste to Cool our Planet – How to promote better food policies to reduce waste, and how individuals can divert food waste to feed the hungry or regenerate the soil.
  • Soil Regeneration: Storing CO2 and Feeding Us Better – How we can reduce carbon emissions, sequester carbon in the soil and capture 100 percent of the planet’s current annual CO2 emissions.

Attendees may choose to attend three sessions and the Home of the Future Expo, which will bring to life both existing solutions and those on the brink of becoming reality. Each session and the expo will provide participants with immediate and tangible action steps to be taken.

A sustainably sourced lunch is included in the ticket price of $30. For more information or to register, visit Bedford2020.org.

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