Georgetown Climate Center receives 2018 Climate and Energy Leadership Award from Metropolitan Council of Governments

October 10, 2018

On Wednesday, October 10th, the Georgetown Climate Center received the 2018 Climate and Energy Leadership Award from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG). This honor is awarded annually to organizations that demonstrate extraordinary leadership in environmental stewardship and climate change action, including engagement with diverse and underserved populations. The Climate Center was selected as this year's educational honoree for the organization's work engaging community members in climate adaptation by convening and facilitating the Far Northeast Ward 7 Climate Equity Advisory Group (EAG), a coalition of 13 representative community leaders in one of the District's neighborhoods most vulnerable to climate impacts. The EAG was formed to bring community views and concerns to the D.C. Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) on climate readiness.

GCC staff and students worked with the D.C. Department of Energy & Environment on this project to create an inclusive process where residents living in the most climate-vulnerable parts of the District provided input on what climate action should look like in their communities.

 
Metropolitan Council of Governments members Matt Letourneau, Gretchen Goldman, and Mary Lehman stand with Georgetown Climate Center staff Vicki Arroyo, Jennifer Li, and Jessica Grannis, and DC Department of Energy and Environment representatives Melissa Deas and Everette Bradford. They display the 2018 Climate and Energy Leadership Award.

In the photo (left to right): Matt Letourneau, Chairman of the Board, Metropolitan Council of Governments (Dulles District Supervisor Loudoun County, VA); Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center; Jennifer Li, Fellow, GCC; Melissa Deas, Climate Program Analyst, DC Department of Energy and Environment; Jessica Grannis, Adaptation Program Director, GCC; Everette Bradford, Program Analyst, DOEE; Dr. Gretchen Goldman, Chair, Air & Climate Public Advisory Committee, MWCOG; Mary Lehman, Chair, Climate, Energy & Environment Policy Committee, MWCOG (Council Member, Prince George's County, MD).

The EAG met monthly from December 2017 to June 2018, and released their recommendations through a public meeting in September 2018. Key recommendations included creating neighborhood resiliency hubs and developing workforce opportunities that will lead to gainful employment for community members, especially Ward 7's youth.

Since 2014, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has awarded this honor to government agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit and community-based organizations that demonstrate extraordinary leadership in environmental stewardship and climate change action. Nominees are evaluated on four criteria: project innovation and creativity; potential to serve as a model for other organizations and communities; community engagement, especially with diverse and underserved populations; and measurable results and impacts. The award was presented by Climate Policy Committee Chair, Mary Lehman, Prince George’s County Council; Chairman of the COG Board, Matt Letourneau, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors; and Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee Chair Dr. Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists.

For more information on the 2018 Climate and Energy Leadership Awards and video coverage of the winning projects, visit the MWCOG website.

For more information on the Far Northeast Ward 7 Equity Advisory Group and their proposed recommendations, read more here. This project was made possible by the generous support of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, Prince Charitable Trusts, the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation. The Georgetown Climate Center is grateful for the generous support we receive from these and other funders that make our work possible.