A New Year Message

Adam Markham

Dear friends:

As we look ahead to 2013, we’ve got exciting plans and prospects in the works here at Clean Air-Cool Planet.  For starters, we’ve pared down our programmatic priorities to focus on our thriving national campus climate solutions efforts and our climate impacts and adaptation work.

We’ll remember 2012 as the year that Superstorm Irene showed us all how close to home the effects of climate change can be and just how unprepared most communities in the U.S. are for such impacts.  Our projects with the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Working Group (NHCAW) and with the City of Bridgeport are helping to develop approaches to increase resilience at the local level— approaches that we think can provide models for communities throughout the Northeast and across the nation.

Also in 2012 we completed a comprehensive assessment of the lessons learned from ten of our biggest community-based programs undertaken over the last six years.  We were able to document real and lasting impacts from Clean Air-Cool Planet’s involvement in more than 150 communities, and draw substantive conclusions that can help community leaders, non-profits like ours, and funders alike sharpen and strengthen their approaches to climate action. One of the biggest lessons learned for us was the importance of going deep and staying involved over the long term—a lesson we will apply in 2013 in the communities of the Piscataqua watershed of New Hampshire and in Connecticut’s coastal Fairfield County.

Last year our campus sustainability program went from strength to strength. A major milestone was reached in October when we launched a new online version of our Campus Carbon Calculator™ in beta. On January 21st, the Campus Carbon Calculator will go live for every campus in the country. More than 90% of the college and university campuses that publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions do so using our Calculator. In 2013 we’ll be expanding the capabilities of this tool and adding new modules that will help accelerate the revolution in campus sustainability.

There was sad news too in 2012. In early September we heard that one of the co-founders of Clean Air-Cool Planet, Ted Smith, had lost his life in a tragic hiking accident in his beloved Montana. Ted was instrumental in creating the vision for Clean Air-Cool Planet and in helping to steer us through our first decade and he was a true climate and conservation leader, to whom many activists, including myself, owe much for the mentoring and sage advice he gave them.

Clean Air-Cool Planet is honoring Ted Smith’s memory through the creation of the Ted Smith Fund for the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders.Our goal is to raise $500,000 for the Ted Smith Fund to enable us to double the number of CA-CP Summer Climate Fellows we can support during the next five years.  Our Climate Fellows program has become one of our biggest successes, with nearly 50 Fellows undertaking challenging and impactful projects during its first five years.

To all of our friends and supporters, I’d like to extend our warm wishes for a very happy 2013. Please be on the lookout over the next several weeks for more updates, as well as a redesigned website that we hope will showcase our successes and highlight our most popular resources.

Yours truly,
Adam Markham
President, Clean Air-Cool Planet

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