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Preparing for climate change; Reducing our region’s carbon footprint

October 9, 2013

This Friday the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will issue a formal statement based on its latest scientific assessment of climate change. Information about the report has been reported on since the end of September. The report, the first in six years, asserts that scientists are “more than 95% certain” that climate change is real, largely caused by human activities, and poses a grave global threat. The New York Times reported that the world’s top climate scientists have “formally embraced an upper limit on greenhouse gases for the first time, establishing a target level at which humanity must stop spewing them into the atmosphere or face irreversible climatic changes. They warned that the target is likely to be exceeded in a matter of decades unless steps are taken soon to reduce emissions.” (

This IPCC’s call to action already has been heard locally in the Upper Delaware River Valley by people and organizations currently working to build more sustainable and resilient local communities to reduce our carbon footprint and to prepare for the effects of climate change.

Today, we want to salute two local organizations that are working to reduce our carbon footprint and preparing us for the looming impacts of a changing climate.

First, we would like to salute the collaborative effort of Common Waters, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and Climate Solutions University to scientifically assess existing and potential threats of climate change to our region’s forests and water resources, to our communities and their local economies. The goal of this work is to develop a strategic plan for how we will adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Last week, we had the privilege of receiving an update on this ongoing work, organized by another collaborative effort, the Upper Delaware Roundtable.