Conference | Preparing Your Community for Climate and Energy Change: Opportunities for Local Sustainability (June 2007)

Preparing Your Community for Climate and Energy Change: Opportunities for Local Sustainability

June 6, 2007, at the University of Minnesota

Plugin Prius Plugin Prius
Wind Turbine Sustainable transit

Minnesota communities face serious challenges due to the interrelated issues of climate change and a projected decline in the global availability of fossil fuels—peak oil. This conference offered local community leaders and concerned citizens an opportunity to learn about the current situation and future projections regarding climate change and energy availability, the risk management implications, and what can be done to adapt to these trends. Examples were presented of local governments that are taking action.

The conference also included discussion about next steps and identified barriers to change, as well as topic sessions to help communities consider opportunities related to energy, food, buildings, and other areas. Many of these actions for a lower-energy future are “no-regrets” strategies — useful regardless of how climate and energy trends unfold. They have benefits for communities now, and can increase our local quality of life and benefit the global environment.

The event targeted a broad group of stakeholders:

  • Local government elected officials, staff and volunteers
  • Nonprofit organizations, including community and civic organizations and public interest groups
  • Tribal governments
  • State agencies
  • Interested individuals

Presentations and Handouts


See speaker bios below.

Breakout sessions


Keynote speakers

Julian DarleyJulian Darley is president of the nonprofit Post Carbon Institute. Post Carbon’s projects include the Relocalization Network, Global Public Media, Climate and Energy Municipal Action Program, and Oil Depletion Protocol. Darley is author of High Noon for Natural Gas: the New Energy Crisis (2004) and co-author of the forthcoming Relocalize Now! Getting Ready for Climate Change and the End of Cheap Oil. J. Drake HamiltonJ. Drake Hamilton is Science Policy Director for Fresh Energy, a nonprofit organization working to lead the transition to a clean energy system, one that will support healthy economies, healthy people, and a healthy environment. Hamilton is the principal author of Fresh Energy’s report, Playing with Fire: Climate Change in Minnesota and gives many invited talks each year on global warming and cost-effective energy solutions.
Gord MillerGord Miller is Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, an independent officer appointed by Ontario’s Legislative Assembly. Commissioner Miller’s role is to oversee the continued implementation of Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights. Prior to his appointment as Environmental Commissioner, he worked for Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment for 14 years. Dan RichardsonDan Richardson works with Schmueser Gordon Meyer, an engineering firm based in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where he specializes in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other climate action strategies for businesses and governmental entities. Until January 2007, he was Global Warming Manager for the city of Aspen, and manager of the city’s Canary Initiative. He is a former Glenwood Springs City Council member and chair of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.


For more information

Paul Moss: email <> or call 651-757-2586 or 800-657-3864 toll free