1. Copenhagen’s international climate talks
Currently, world leaders and representatives from nearly 200 nations will gather with technical experts, business leaders, advocates and concerned citizens in Copenhagen, Denmark for the United Nations’ 15th annual Conference of the Parties where the primary focus will be to seek agreement on a new global climate treaty. The urgency of addressing climate change and its impacts has never been greater: new research indicates the Southeast is particularly vulnerable as sea-level rise projections have increased from 7-23 inches in 2007 to 1 to 4 feet in 2009.President Obama announced he will attend the talks, raising the prospects that a framework deal to address climate change will be crafted. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) will also be among the attendees in Copenhagen to demonstrate to Congressional and world leaders that businesses and citizens from the Southeast want a clean energy future and expect bold climate action. Stephen A. Smith, SACE’s Executive Director, and Jennifer Rennicks, SACE’s Federal Policy Director, will follow the action in Copenhagen and report back to members and supporters from a uniquely southeastern clean energy perspective. Stay updated on the proceedings by watching for SACE’s Copenhagen Blog Posts, following SACE on Twitter and joining us for a webinar. You can learn more about the upcoming negotiations by listening to a recent radio interview on Conservation Matters/You Need to Know or by reading about past and upcoming climate negotiations on our website.
2. Our planet at a crossroads
This year, our political leaders began seriously debating energy policy solutions to reduce global warming pollution for the first time. At the same time, researchers, engineers, and businesses were working to harness American innovation to develop new clean energy technology. Research and development of clean renewable fuels and electricity are important avenues to advance national energy goals and change the way we power our homes, businesses, and cars. Our planet is at an historic crossroads; either we embrace a new clean energy future or we cling to a dirty polluting past that will leave us and future generations an unsafe, diminished world. At SACE, we believe the solution is at the intersection of new clean technologies and strong climate policies. We’re working to educate consumers and decision makers about the kinds of policies and clean energy technologies that will create healthy communities, a clean environment, and a vibrant economy. Help us spread the word!
Making a donation will help our nation and its leaders begin to take advantage of the existing and next generation clean energy technologies that reduce impacts on the environment, use less petroleum, save energy, and reduce cost. Become part of the solution and make an online donation to SACE today.
Now is a critical time to get involved in the clean energy movement. We need every individual who cares about our planet’s future to donate now.
3. Tennessee universities meet to discuss sustainability
SACE’s Green Power University Outreach program in Tennessee recently organized the Summit for Campus Sustainability hosted by Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Twelve schools from across the state met to discuss the role of campuses in leading communities toward more sustainable practices. Students, professors, and facilities managers that helped develop some of the top campus sustainability programs spoke about their successes and shared best practices.
Five of the schools represented at the summit have enacted campus “green” fees, which are tuition increases students impose upon themselves to support stronger environmental initiatives. Those schools (University of TN-Knoxville, University of TN-Chattanooga, Middle TN State University, East TN State University, Austin Peay State University) collectively raise roughly $2.3 million annually, buying nearly a third of all green power produced by the Tennessee Valley Authorities Green Power Switch® (GPS) program.
SACE launched its Green Power University Outreach Program in 2003 as a new initiative focusing on colleges and universities in the Southeast. We recognized that students across the nation had become increasingly active in bringing renewable energy, energy efficiency and strong climate policies to the campus community. The program works closely with regional partner the Southern Energy Network and national partner the Energy Action Coalition.
Following a keynote address by Allison Dennis from the EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program, awards were presented to schools and people leading in sustainability. This year’s award winners included:
- Lance Lewis of East Tennessee State University
- Carl Hite, President of Cleveland State Community College
- Brad Reynolds, Professor at UT-Chattanooga, Middle Tennessee State University and UT-Knoxville.
The event was sponsored by SACE, TVA’s Green Power Switch®, Tennessee Alumni and Students for Sustainable Campuses, and the MTSU Sustainable Campus Fund.
4. Regional Wind Energy Insitute annual meeting
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy hosted more than 50 participants from the nine different states in Baltimore, MD on November 16th and 17th during our third Mid-Atlantic/Southeast Regional Wind Energy Institute annual meeting. The core goal of the meeting is to bring together regional leaders from state energy offices, wind working groups, academic institutions, industry, government agencies and other non-profits to share best practices and strategize about overcoming challenges that commonly face our region.
The group addressed strategies to overcome the obstacles that face some one of the region’s most cost-effective energy options, onshore wind. The group also discussed how to bring community wind projects to the region and how the region can work together to advance the offshore wind industry, which in the future represents a huge potential for providing electricity to the region.
Click here to find presentations and files from the annual meeting. The Mid-Atlantic/Southeast Regional Wind Energy Institute is a group managed by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy on behalf of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Wind Powering America program.
As we prepare for the holiday season and gear up for the new year, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the support and participation of our members. You are an invaluable leader in fulfilling our mission and realizing our vision of a clean energy future.
We cannot thank you enough for being a part of the clean energy movement in the Southeast. Best wishes until our next Wired In e-newsletter in January 2010!
5. Upcoming events
December 10: Town Hall Meeting. Miami, Fla.
A Town Hall meeting will be held to stop Forida Power & Light’s nuclear expansion at Turkey Point near Miami. The meeting will be held at South Miami City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive.December 12: 1Sky Meet Up. Miami Beach, Fla.
Join 1Sky and Emerge Miami’s Critical Mass bicycling group as part of a global day of action on climate change. Ride your bike with us or meet us outside of the Bike Film Festival at the Colony Theatre at 4 p.m. We’ll attract media attention and call on Senators Nelson and LeMiuex to commit to a clean energy future. January 29-31: TASSC Winter Summit. Crossville,Tenn.
During the last weekend of January 2010, students and alumni interested in sustainability issues from across Tennessee will meet to discuss campaign strategies to bring about greater campus and state environmental policies. We’ll also have a lot of fun! The meeting will be held at Cumberland Mountain State Park, and as always, we have sat aside some time for hanging out and outdoor adventures. This is a great chance to see what other student groups are doing on their campuses, share best practices, and develop a stronger student voice on a statewide level. For more information, check http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=222455065168&ref=nf or contact Reggie Miller at email@example.com or 615-691-0850.