Last night, Austin came together to discuss a very important topic – climate change. At “The Paris Climate Agreement, An Austin Perspective” event, cohosted by the Austin EcoNetwork and the Rainforest Partnership, nearly 100 people came together to learn more about Austin’s role in the global effort against climate change. The event, held at Google Fiber Space, was a great opportunity to start a real discussion about bringing this big, global issue of climate change down to the local level.
The event kicked off with a presentation by Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who attended the Paris Climate Conference in December. The Paris Climate Conference (aka COP 21, UN Climate Conference) was a ground-breaking moment in global climate change policy, as it marked the first time that nearly all of the world’s countries came to together to publicly make a promise to take action on climate. Each country submitted an individual plan to reduce emissions in their own nations, taking a very important first step in making real progress on climate change.
One of the main reasons why Austin Mayor Steve Adler went to Paris for the UN Climate Conference was to meet with other local leaders from the around the world, so that they could discuss ways for local governments to take action on climate as well. In the following clip from the event, Mayor Adler talks about the importance of leading from the local level, especially when it comes to climate change.
Mayor Adler wasn’t the only Austinite to make his way to Paris for the UN Climate Conference. He was joined by the a large group of passionate Austinites, including:
- Austin City Council Member Leslie Pool
- Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea
- Electric Utility Commissioner Michael Osborne
- Morgan Catalina -SXSW Eco
- Carolyn Harrold – SXSW Eco
- Niyanta Spelman – Executive Director of the Rainforest Partnership
- Brittany Foley – Sophomore at Huston-Tillotson University
- Yaira Robinson – Associate Director of the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy
Several of these Paris Climate Conference attendees joined the Austin EcoNetwork on stage for a panel discussion about their time in Paris, the lessons they learned, and how they can apply those lessons back home in Austin. The panelists included Niyanta Spelman, Brittany Foley, and Yaira Robinson.
A full podcast of last night’s events is available at the top of this post. You can download the podcast by clicking on the arrow in the upper righthand corner.
The Austin EcoNetwork also would like to take a moment to thank everyone who attended last night’s event, along with the Rainforest Partnership, Google Fiber, Lamas Food Trailer, Rio Bites, Holy Kombucha.
And as a special reminder, these podcasts have been produced in conjunction with our larger EcoNetwork news project, “Big Picture, Local Lens: Exploring Climate Change in Austin.” The project aims to bring this big, weighty, global issue of climate change down to the local level through creative and innovative storytelling techniques. So please, learn, listen, and laugh with us as we unpack this big issue and learn more about it how it affects us all, right here in Austin.