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Initial Climate Change Committee meeting summary

This is a summary of today's, November 2 first call on the PERC climate change committee, Not all listed in this email were on the call as some just were only notified of the existence of the committee today as a result some just joined the committee after today's call. We agreed that we might have to break the work of the committee into smaller working groups at some time.

We discussed two broad subjects today:

1.  The overall work of the climate change committee 
2. Beginning planning for the Feb 5th event on the new PERC program on community outreach of PERC schools on GHG emissions reductions and resilience

On the general work of the committee we agreed:

  • The committee would seek to have monthly committee conference calls that would last no more than an hour and aim to be completed in 45 minutes
  • Because we need to move forward on the Feb 5th event, we decided that we would have the next conference call on Monday November 16tjh at 10 am. We also tentatively agreed that Monday am worked best for people on the call subject to change.
  • We also tentatively agreed that committee members would take turns in setting the agenda and facilitating the monthly calls. Ben Culbertson agreed to organize and facilitate the next call on November 16th
  • We agreed that the major goal of the committee is to reflect on climate change work in PERC schools including, but not limited to, GHG inventory, strategies, and targets of PERC schools, climate education, and community outreach of PERC schools both on ghg emissions reductions and resiliency and adaptation.
  • We also agreed that the committee would benefit from creating a spreadsheet designed to identify what is going on on climate change in  PERC schools on climate change. Since PERC previously developed such a spread sheet, Don Brown agreed to circulate what we had done before to use for discussion purposes about information we want to organize for the work of the committee. Because I don't have the last version of the spreadsheet we were working with I will ask Kathy Schreiber to circulate a recent version.
  • Rich Bowden has identified a student who will be tasked with completing the initial inventory of PERC work on climate change issues. We agreed we would supply him with earlier spreadsheets that attempted to inventory PERC work on climate change.
  • We also agreed that at some time in the future, the climate change inventory could be added to analysis of other sustainability work in PERC schools.

On the Feb 5th program on PERC Schools working  with local governments on climate change issues, we agreed.

  • the goal of the Feb 5th meeting is to develop a strategic vision of the PERC program on community outreach on climate issues
  • We also agreed that although much of the agenda for the the February 5th meeting should be reserved for a discussion of a strategic vision of the PERC work on community outreach on climate issues, to set the stage for that discussion, the February 5th meeting will begin with speakers or panels on the following subjects
    • What are PERC schools already doing in regard to community outreach on climate issues?. We know that Penn State and a few other schools have already assisted local governments (including towns and boros, and county governments) with climate change work. We should begin the discussion with a report on what is already going on in PERC schools on these issues Michelle Hallsell agreed to ask someone working on local government work to give a brief description of this work.
    • Because Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have already developed notable climate change strategies, we thought we should invite someone from Philadelphia to make a short presentation on the content and challenges of their work.
    • We need someone to reflect on potential PERC work on resilience and adaptation at the local level. I agreed to contact Neil Leary to get his ideas on this. 
    • Will compose a panel or two to address the following issues, what are leadership examples of climate change strategies and emissions reduction programs in the United States. We discussed inviting ICLEI to make this presentation but did not decide whether others should be invited.
    • We thought it would be helpful to  have a presentation also of leadership examples of local and regional governments from around the world given that a growing number of cities and local governments have committed to significant ghg reductions including becoming carbon neutral We did not identify who could make this presentation although several groups were discussed.
    • Part of the Feb 5th meeting should include presentations from governments or government focused organizations about what they are doing or what help they would be willing to give to a PERC program on community outreach on climate change. In regard to potential involvement of governments that support a PERC program on climate change, we identified DEP, The Governor;s Office, The Pa Department of Community Affairs, and EPA. I agreed to track down potential interests from DEP, the Governor's Office, and the Department of Community Affairs. Michelle Haselll agreed to
    • try and find someone in Region 3 of EPA)  There are many potential government affiliated organization who work on local government issues that might be willing to present how PERC might benefit from their work such as the Associations of Boro Officials, Regional Planning associations siuch as SEDA-COG etc. and organizations local governments. Michell Hallsell agreed to make a recommendation to the committee on which organizations should be invited to the Feb 5th meeting.
    • We agreed a substantial part of the Feb 5th agenda should be open discussion of the elements of a PERC strategist plan on community outreach on climate change issues.
  • Anyone interested in attending committee meetings should contact Don Brown at

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