February 28, 2019
On Thursday, February 21, 2019, an estimated 200 state, local, and federal officials, non-profit and private partners, academics, students, staff, alumni, and other guests came together to celebrate the Georgetown Climate Center’s 10th Anniversary. The event included remarks from Oregon Governor Kate Brown and former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and virtual greetings from Washington Governor Jay Inslee and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Professor Peter Byrne and Michael Northrop of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund reflected on the Climate Center’s defining mission to serve as a resource and advocate for states, and shared highlights of GCC’s decade of work, emphasizing the importance of subnational action. Northrop called GCC the “conveyor belt” for effective climate and energy policy.
Vicki Arroyo, who has served as Executive Director of GCC since its inception, extended heartfelt thanks to the Climate Center’s partners, funders, and supporters, and made a special point of recognizing the current and former state leaders, Georgetown staff, and students present who have contributed to the Climate Center’s success.
Arroyo also read a congratulatory message from Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts. “Congratulations to the Georgetown Climate Center on a decade of leadership supporting state and local efforts to advance effective climate and energy policies,” wrote Governor Baker. “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is grateful for the partnerships formed to address pressing climate issues like carbon emissions from the transportation sector and we look forward to many more years of collaboration.”
“A decade ago, we launched the Climate Center to serve as a resource to our states on climate and clean energy law and policy, and since then, the Center has exceeded expectations,” said Governor Inslee via video. “It’s carved out a really indispensable role in the fight against the climate crisis…supporting states across the nation as they become leaders in climate action.”
The evening also featured a rousing address by former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, one of the “founding mothers” of GCC. She praised the Georgetown Climate Center and its partners for their tireless work, especially thanking the many state leaders present. "The work of states and local governments is what's holding this country together,” she said. Remarks from Oregon Governor Kate Brown spotlighted GCC’s leadership in the international sphere and here in the U.S.
The Georgetown Climate Center was formally launched in 2009 to advance effective climate and energy policies in the United States, and to serve as a nonpartisan resource to state and local communities working to cut carbon pollution and prepare for the effects of climate change. The Center informs the development of state and federal policies that reduce carbon pollution from power plants and stationary sources, support clean and resilient transportation options, and help communities adapt to climate change.
GCC has remained at the forefront of climate and energy policy, playing an active role in the development of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, and facilitating the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a regional collaboration of 12 states and Washington, D.C. that seeks to reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector. GCC also developed and maintains the Adaptation Clearinghouse, a flagship resource for adaptation and resilience professionals across the country. GCC has also been active in the international arena at climate talks including those in Katowice, Copenhagen, Paris, and Bonn. For COP23, GCC and partners organized a bipartisan delegation from 11 states — the largest delegation of U.S. states to attend — allowing these voices to be heard on a world stage.
The Georgetown Climate Center is profoundly grateful to all who have been a crucial part of our mission and initiatives over the years: the public, private, academic, and non-profit partners who have inspired our work and made it possible. As Governor Inslee stated in his address, “There’s nothing better in life than to be in a grand fight with friends.” And for that, we thank you.