US Climate Action Center Programming:
Friday, December 6th
US Climate Action Center Kickoff
Friday, December 6th | 10:00 - 11:30 | US Climate Action Center
When the current administration announced it would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord – We Are Still In offered a strong and resounding message that major parts of the U.S. economy remain committed to collaborative climate action. Over 3800 signatories in all 50 states have joined the movement – and it continues to grow. Now, with the US Administration formally initiating the withdrawal process, the We Are Still In delegation is more important than ever. This center will feature representatives from states, cities and counties, tribes, businesses, investors, higher education, cultural institutions, healthcare systems, and more telling their stories about ambition, climate action, and solutions, as we kick off four full days of events at the U.S. Climate Action Center.
Featuring: Mandela Barnes, State of Wisconsin; Ashley Allen, Mars Inc.; Ari Alexander, Salesforce; Rachelle Wenger, CommonSpirit Health; Mark Mitsui, Portland Community College; Rob Fohr, Presbyterian Church; Elan Strait, WWF; Ryan Martel, Ceres
Hosted by: We Are Still In
University Presidents Are Still In
Friday, December 6th | 12:00 - 13:00 | US Climate Action Center
Higher education is known as a sector that provides subject matter expertise in the area of climate solutions, but what is less well understood is its role as active institutional player in deploying the solutions themselves. This dual role as higher education institutions as both “enablers” of climate action, as well as driving action through institutional leadership will be discussed from those with a unique perspective - the senior leader of the institution. Three US-based college presidents will discuss their experience with institutional climate leadership, the barriers and opportunities that they see, and the coordinated international potential of the sector to drive solutions.
Featuring: Tim Carter, Second Nature; Jill Tiefenthaler, Colorado College; Wim Wiewel, Lewis and Clark College; Mark Mitsui, Portland Community College
Hosted by: Second Nature
Cultural Institutions Are Still In
Friday, December 6th | 13:00 - 14:00 | US Climate Action Center
While museums, zoos and historic sites are cutting carbon, they’re also fulfilling social, charitable and educational responsibilities by working with communities to develop and execute climate action strategies, partnering across sectors to develop clean energy solutions, and engaging the public to build awareness and foster climate action. Presentations by representatives from UNFCCC/ACE, Climate Heritage Network, American Alliance of Museums and We Are Still In’s Cultural Sector.
Featuring: Sarah Sutton, Sustainable Museums; Miguell Naranjo, UNFCCC/ACE, Andrew Potts, Climate Heritage; Stephanie Shapiro, American Alliance of Museums
Hosted By: Sustainable Museums
AGs Are Still In: How U.S. State Attorneys General Are Fighting the Trump Administration's Anti-Climate Agenda
Friday, December 6th | 14:30 - 15:00 | US Climate Action Center
Since President Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, his administration has moved to weaken, repeal or ignore dozens of laws and regulations that protect clean air and water, limit carbon pollution, and support a clean energy transition in the United States. State attorneys general (AGs), who take legal action on behalf of their states, have emerged as crucial actors to block the administration’s rollbacks and advance climate-friendly laws and policies in the United States.
This event will feature one attorney general from the state of New Jersey. He and fellow AGs have now taken hundreds of legal actions over the last three years to defend environmental protections, including cornerstone laws intended to reduce emissions from the power and transportation sectors in the United States.
Featuring: New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and David J. Hayes, Executive Director, State Energy & Environmental Impact Center
Hosted By: Climate Nexus
Subnational Collaboration Across Borders: Reducing Food Waste
Friday, December 6th | 15:00 - 16:00 | US Climate Action Center
Hear from government, nonprofit, philanthropic, and for-profit leaders about their joint subnational actions to implement UN SDG 12.3 and reduce wasted food by 50% by 2030. Understand the impact of food waste and how it aligns with climate goals and commitments, how subnational action is creating momentum to reduce wasted food, and the role of food retailers and manufacturers in reducing waste on a subnational scale.
Featuring: Michael Northrop, Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Chad Frsichmann, Project Drawdown; Secretary Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Agency; Chris Davis, Office of Governor Jay Inslee; Claire Kneller, Wrap Global; Elan Strait, World Wildlife Fund
Hosted By: Pacific Climate Collaborative
Driving Climate Action Through Public-Private Partnership
Friday, December 6th | 16:00 - 17:30 | US Climate Action Center
This event will highlight how U.S. clean energy and energy efficiency executives and thought leaders are powering positive impacts toward meeting climate goals—and magnifying these impacts through international public-private collaboration.
The first panel will showcase how the contributions of the private sector, through clean energy technologies, carbon markets and corporate leadership on climate action can build confidence and create both market opportunities and political space for greater and faster political ambition.
The second panel will highlight how private sector coalitions and campaigns can help governments turn this increased ambition into climate impacts. With a focus on energy efficiency, panelists involved in the Three Percent Club and other coalitions will discuss opportunities to dramatically scale up climate action through increased international collaboration.
Panel One Featuring: Lisa Jacobson, BCSE; Nanette Lockwood, Ingersoll Rand; John Kadyzewski/Mary Grady, American Carbon Registry; Clay Nesler, Johnson Controls; Anna Pavlova, Schneider Electric
Panel Two Featuring: Gabriel Prudencia Flaño, Ministry of Energy, Chile; Steve Kukoda, International Copper Association; Jennifer Layke, World Resources Institute; Mark Radka, UN Environmental Programme, Sheila Watson, FIA Foundation; Laura Van Wie McGrory, Alliance to Save Energy; Filippo Berardi, Global Environment Facility; Brian Dean, SEforAll
Hosted By: Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Alliance to Save Energy
The US Climate Action Center will suspend programming at 18:00 on Friday, December 6th, in solidarity with global mobilizations and strikes for climate action.
Students Are Still In: Higher Education Reception
Friday, December 6th | 19:00 - 20:30 | US Climate Action Center
A networking event for college and university leadership, faculty, and students attending COP.
Hosted by: Second Nature
Saturday, December 7th
Farmers Are Still In
Saturday, December 7th | 10:00 - 11:30 | US Climate Action Center
American farmers are innovators, continually adapting to the increasing challenges of climate change impacts, like droughts, floods, record high temperatures, and wildfires. They’re also uniquely positioned to lead on climate solutions by providing renewable energy, keeping our water clean, storing carbon in the ground, and feeding a growing population. This panel-based discussion will hear from voices working with farmers in the midwestern US and elsewhere on the role farmers are playing in addressing climate change.
Featuring: Lauren Wolahan, Climate Nexus; Ray Gaesser, Iowa Smart Agriculture; Tim Dwight, Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association; Noah Walker, Indigo Carbon; Ernie Shea, Solutions from the Land/North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance
Hosted by: Climate Nexus
Businesses Are Still In: Getting to Zero
Saturday, December 7th | 13:00 - 14:30 | US Climate Action Center
A discussion with business leaders in the United States that will focus on how their organizations are leading on climate change. The panel will include some discussion of C2ES recent report, Getting to Zero: A US Climate Agenda. Panelists will also share how their companies are embracing climate leadership by reducing GHG emissions in their own businesses and supply chains, working on cross-sectoral initiatives and engaging with policymakers to advance durable and effective policy solutions needed to meet mid-century decarbonization goals.
Featuring: Elliot Diringer and Nancy Meyer, C2ES; Pedro Pizarro, Edison International; Michelle Patron, Microsoft; Greg Downing, Cargill; Magali Anderson, LafargeHolcim; Clay Nesler, Johnson Controls
Hosted by: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
What's Next for Paris?
Saturday, December 7th | 15:00 - 16:00 | US Climate Action Center
A conversation with Sue Biniaz, the former principal legal adviser on the climate negotiations for the United States, who will discuss the future of the Paris Agreement.
Featuring: Sue Biniaz; Elan Strait, World Wildlife Fund
Hosted by: World Wildlife Fund
The Road to Zero-Carbon Transportation
Saturday, December 7th | 16:00 - 17:00 | US Climate Action Center
Transportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in the United States, and one of the most difficult to tackle nationally and globally. Through a suite of policy tools and ambitious leadership, U.S. Climate Alliance states are accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles and mobility. Three-quarters of electric vehicles sold in the United States are in Alliance borders. Finding solutions that protect families and businesses from unnecessary air pollution and high fuel costs is critical for Alliance states, but the political solutions are not always straight forward, and are made more complex with the ongoing efforts to rollback clean car standards and attack states’ rights.
To date, fourteen jurisdictions have adopted more stringent vehicle emissions standards via the authorities granted to them by the Clean Air Act. Collectively they represent 36 percent of the light-duty vehicle market. In July 2019, twenty-four Alliance governors issued the Nation’s Clean Car Promise, reemphasizing their commitment to one strong, national clean car standard and preserving state authority. Despite the federal headwinds, states are working together and deploying creative solutions to overcome the political barriers to progress.
This event will feature Alliance state officials from across the political and geographic spectrum that will share how their states are navigating the political, policy and technical transition to a clean mobility future. They will also provide a glimpse toward 2020 and speak to policy priorities that will help move them closer to their goals.
Featuring: Lauren Sanchez, CA EPA; Christine Kirby, MA DEP; Tim Sexton, MN DOT; Amy Malaki, ClimateWorks
Hosted by: US Climate Alliance
US Climate Action Speak Out
Saturday, December 7th | 17:00 - 19:00 | US Climate Action Center
The US Climate Action Center will convene a speak out for community and grassroots leaders, youth and indigenous activists, students, and other COP attendees to share their personal stories of climate impact and action. This event is hoping to prioritize the voices of youth and indigenous leaders traveling from the United States, but all are welcome to attend!
Hosted by: We Are Still In
Monday, December 9th
Cities Are Still In
Monday, December 9th | 9:00 - 10:00 | US Climate Action Center
Hosted by: We Are Still In
Together for Higher Ambition: How Domestic Alliances of Subnational Actors Are Championing Decarbonization Around the World
Monday, December 9th | 10:00 - 11:30 | US Climate Action Center
At a time when national governments need to increase the mitigation ambition of their NDCs to address the growing emissions gap and support them with immediate action, the conversation must urgently be grounded nationally and be broadened to include those actors in the real economy that can speed up decarbonization.
What specific opportunities exist at the country-level? What benefits - beyond climate- would they bring? How are state and local governments, businesses, universities and civil society contributing and what can national governments do to unleash their entrepreneurship and leadership?
The event will feature a discussion with subnational leaders who are accelerating a global groundswell of local climate action around the world. Representatives from the private, academic, and public sectors will engage about opportunities for higher ambition in their
specific countries, and how the growing domestic coalitions that are bringing together subnational and non-state actors can accelerate decarbonization from the ground up.
The event will feature coalition representatives from Argentina (Alianza para la Acción Climática Argentina), Japan (Japan Climate Initiative), Mexico (the Alianza para la Acción Climática de Guadalajara), South Africa (Alliance for Climate Action South Africa), the United States (We Are Still In), and Vietnam (Vietnam Coalition for Climate Action).
Featuring: Gonzalo Munoz Abogabir, High Level Champion for Climate Action; Mariana Panuncio-Feldman, World Wildlife Fund; Cristian Feldkamp, CREA; Toshiko Chiba, Tokyo Metropolitan Government; Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramierez, State of Jalisco; Nate Hultman, University of Maryland; Takalani Netshitenzhe, Vodacom, Tran Anh Tuan, Hue University of Sciences; Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF-International
Hosted by: World Wildlife Fund, Stanley Center for Peace and Security, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, CDP, Climate Action Network, Fundacion Avina, The Climate Group, We Mean Business
Ocean-Climate Leadership at the Blue COP
Monday, December 9th | 11:30 - 1:00 | US Climate Action Center
The ocean and climate are inextricably connected. Climate change is threatening marine resources, ocean ecosystems, coastal economies and communities, and the billions of people who rely on the ocean’s health. At the same time, the ocean is a source of sustainable mitigation and adaptation solutions, from reducing shipping emissions to protecting and restoring “blue carbon” ecosystems. At this event, U.S. nonfederal and international leaders will discuss their ocean- climate actions and will announce new initiatives that are launching at the “Blue COP.”
Featuring: Secretary Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Agency; Minister & Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji; Vice Minister Haydee Rodriguez, Costa Rica; Jennifer Hennessey, Office of Governor Jay Inslee; Anu Hittle, State of Hawaii; Whitney Berry, California Ocean Protection Council; Secretary Ben Grumbles, State of Maryland; Sue Biniaz, UN Foundation; Anne Merwin and Gwynne Taraska, Ocean Conservancy; Jessie Turner, International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification; Lisa Suatoni, NRDC
Hosted by: Ocean Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification
Ground-Up Climate Action: Lessons learned from U.S. subnational actors
Monday, December 9th | 13:00 - 14:00 | US Climate Action Center
The coalition of U.S. states, cities, and businesses committed to climate action to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement now represents over 3,900 actors who together represent nearly 70% of U.S. GDP, nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population, and over half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Join America’s Pledge and We Are Still In to hear from representatives of this coalition about what sorts of action these entities are taking, where it can be replicated, and what it means for communities, shareholders, and customers.
Featuring: Mayor Bill Peduto, City of Pittsburgh; President Wim Wiesel, Lewis and Clark College; Pedro Pizzaro, Edison International; Nate Hultman, University of Maryland, Carla Frisch, Rocky Mountain Institute
Hosted by: America's Pledge, We Are Still In
Strength in Numbers: American Climate Leadership
Monday, December 9th | 15:00 - 16:00 | US Climate Action Center
In the last year, the U.S. Climate Alliance has grown to 25 members, representing more than half the U.S. population and 60 percent of the U.S. economy – equivalent to the third largest national economy in the world. We have seen new regions on the rise, expanding the cultural and geographic diversity of climate leadership and pursuing priorities that resonate across the country.
U.S. governors have tremendous authority to take executive and regulatory action to address some of the nation’s most significant climate challenges. They are also the laboratories of democracy, testing out the nation’s most innovative policies from carbon markets to electrification of heavy-duty vehicles and first-ever state building performance standards. Alliance states are expanding the number of climate leaders and the share of national emissions they can tackle, as well as the level of ambition of climate solutions – embracing 100 percent zero-carbon power, setting bold GHG reduction targets, decarbonizing transportation and improving energy efficiency. While states are driving their most ambitious climate agenda in U.S. history, they do so against the headwinds of a federal administration intent not only rolling back our national climate framework, but on attacking states’ rights to protect their own communities from carbon pollution.
The Alliance will release its 2019 Annual Report at this event, sharing independent analysis that shows how - in spite of federal setbacks and as a testament to the leadership of U.S. governors - Alliance states are within reach of achieving their share of the former U.S. GHG reduction target. The report will provide an overview of the major policies adopted in the last year, contrast Alliance progress with the rest of the country, and show how climate leadership and economic growth go hand-in-hand.
Our panel will feature three senior state officials that represent the diversity of Alliance states. They will speak to their recent slate of legislative and executive achievements, peer over the horizon to preview upcoming policy priorities and challenges, and discuss the evolving relationship with and response to the federal government.
Featuring: Mandela Barnes, State of Wisconsin; Ben Grumbles, State of Maryland; Chris Davis, State of Washington; Julie Cerqueira, U.S. Climate Alliance
Decarbonizing the Power Sector
Monday, December 9th | 16:00 - 17:00 | US Climate Action Center
Hosted by: RMI/EEI
Investor Climate Action Plans: aligning financial flows with the Paris-Agreement
Monday, December 9th | 17:00 - 18:00 | US Climate Action Center
US pension funds will talk about their collective ambition and their individual implementation plans to align their portfolios with the 1.5C degree goal of the Paris agreement.
Featuring: Sue Reid, Ceres; Jack Ehnes, CalSTRS; Divya Mankikar, CalPERS; Bill Somplatsky-Jarman, Presbyterian Church
Hosted by: Ceres
Conversations on Congressional Action
Monday, December 9th | 18:00 - 19:00 | US Climate Action Center
Featuring: Josh Klein and Laura Haynes-Gillam, United States Senate
Tuesday, December 10th
Leading the Coal Phase Out: Ambition and Action by States and Provinces
Tuesday, December 10th | 9:00 - 10:00 | US Climate Action Center
The Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), in collaboration with its partners, aim to shine a spotlight on subnational leaders that are taking ambitious climate action, driving a global response from the ground up. This event will showcase subnational leaders and organizations that are modelling the way for a clean energy transition and helping to advance national-level dialogue.
Subnational leaders will provide insights on the policies and programs they are deploying to achieve reductions in the use of coal power generation, while promoting economic development, empowering an inclusive and just transition, advancing environmental and social outcomes, and ensuring consumers are protected. Audience members will benefit from a behind-the-scenes look at how clean energy transition frameworks are developed, how to engage and mobilize stakeholders to inform government action, and what strategies can be implemented to reach decisions.
Featuring: Patricia Fuller, Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change; Scott Glenn, Hawaii State Energy Office; Commissioner Andrew McAllister, California Energy Commission; Aitor Urresti González, Government of the Balearic Islands; Carla Frisch, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)
Hosted by: Powering Past Coal Alliance
Renewable Thermal Energy
Tuesday, December 10th | 10:00 - 11:00 | US Climate Action Center
While renewable electricity markets are accelerating, relatively little attention has been paid to the 50% of total global final energy demand and 39% of energy-related CO2e emissions that come from thermal heating and cooling. There is no path to a 1.5-degree future without tackling this sector. Representatives of WWF, Cargill, Mars and Southern California Gas—all members of the new Renewable Thermal Collaborative—will speak to the challenge of scaling this new frontier of sustainable energy solutions.
Featuring: Ashley Allen, Mars; Greg Downing, Cargill; Tanya Peacok, Southern California Gas, Tim Juliani, WWF
Hosted by: DGA
Statewide Coalitions for Climate Leadership: Georgia and Minnesota
Tuesday, December 10th | 11:00 - 12:30 | US Climate Action Center
Hosted by: ClimateGen, Emory University
Strategies and Collaboration to Reduce Carbon by US States
Tuesday, December 10th | 13:00 - 14:00 | US Climate Action Center
Over 20 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted specific greenhouse gas reduction targets to address climate change. US states are accelerating new and existing policies and programs to reduce carbon pollution and advance the use of clean energy. Leaders from US states will discuss their experience implementing programs, such as greenhouse gas inventories, carbon markets, and energy efficiency building standards, along with new, innovative strategies to reduce carbon emissions while also growing green energy economies, improving public health, and building more resilient communities. Speakers also will explore how state-to-state and/or regional cooperation can further accelerate the deployment of climate solutions.
Featuring: Secretary Jared Blumenfeld, CalEPA; Chris Davis, Office of Governor Jay Inslee; Christine Kirby, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Alexa Voytek, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; Anu Hittle, Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources
Hosted by: The Climate Registry, Climate Action Reserve
Roadmap to 2050: A Manuel for Nations to Decarbonize by 2050
Tuesday, December 10th | 14:00 - 15:00 | US Climate Action Center
The Roadmap to 2050: A Manual for Countries to Decarbonize by Mid-Century report provides an overview of the latest decarbonization technologies available for national governments to populate their low- emission development strategies as outlined in article 4.19 of the
Paris Agreement. The multiple objectives span decarbonization and environmental sustainability, economic prosperity (including poverty reduction), and social inclusion that leaves no one behind. This event will present the report.
Featuring: Elena Crete and Jeffrey Sachs, SDSN; Manfred Hafner, FEEM; Renato Mazzoncini, Niccolo' Aste, and Maurizio Masi, Politecnico di Milano
Hosted by: Sustainable Development Solutions Network
US Climate Action Center Closing Ceremony
Tuesday, December 10th | 16:00 - 18:00 | US Climate Action Center
When the current administration announced it would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord – We Are Still In offered a strong and resounding message that major parts of the U.S. economy remain committed to collaborative climate action. Over 3800 signatories in all 50 states have joined the movement – and it continues to grow. Now, with the US Administration formally initiating the withdrawal process, the We Are Still In delegation is more important than ever.
As we close out a full week of discussions, presentations, and inspirational stories from state, local, regional, and national leaders across the entire U.S. economy, this cross-sectoral panel will reflect back on what we learned, how we can continue to harness our ambitions and convert them into additional actions, and how we can continue to work together, across all sectors to demonstrate to the rest of the world that We Are Still In.
Hosted by: We Are Still In
US Climate Action Center Background:
Two years ago, US cities, states, tribes, businesses, faith groups, universities, and others asserted their power as American climate leaders. Stepping in for the federal government, their presence at major international events has been a key component of a mission to maintain and encourage American progress towards its national climate goals. In the past, the United States Department of State brought delegations to the annual UN climate talks, and organized events that would showcase the work of the United States in combating climate change. After President Trump signaled his administration’s intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement in 2017, US subnational and non-state actors took it upon themselves to reassure the international community, establishing their own climate action centers at COP23 and COP24.
United States Delegation to COP25:
The United States Department of State is expected to send a small team of negotiators to the UN climate talks in Madrid, Spain this year, but the American public's voice on climate will best be represented by US subnational and non-state actors, who will not only showcase their efforts to implement the United States’ national climate target under the Paris Agreement, but will meet with foreign governments and international counterparts to build connections, strengthen partnerships, and find opportunities to advance American interests and collaborate with one another to tackle the climate crisis. Institutions above represent only a portion of the individuals who will be on the ground in Madrid. Civil society and frontline activists will join them in full force to advocate on behalf of increased ambition and alignment with the latest national and international science.