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June 23, 2022
For Immediate Release
Contact: Crystal S. Campbell
Public Information Officer
[email protected] / (734) 478-1856
Washtenaw County Convenes Climate Leadership Summit
Pittsfield Township, MI – On Thursday morning, over 30 department heads, managers, and supervisors from departments all over Washtenaw County convened at the Learning Resource Center for the first of two Climate Leadership Summits. In 2020, the Board of Commissioners accelerated the County’s internal carbon neutrality goal to 2030. Last fall, the Board approved an allocation of $200,000 towards creating the plan that will achieve that goal.
Facilitated by Andrew DeLeeuw, Director of Strategic Planning, and Matthew Naud of Resource Recycling System (RRS), lead consultant on the project, the summit was designed to provide county leadership the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the draft strategies of the Resilient Washtenaw Plan.
“This summit and this plan represent an opportunity.”, Gregory Dill, County Administrator, told the group in his opening comments, “Our Board of Commissioners are thought leaders around climate action and Washtenaw will be one of the first counties in the state to reach the aggressive goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. We have some of our best thinkers in this room and I know that we will use our collective resources to produce concrete and innovative strategies that can help us get there.”
The agenda for the summit included some baseline information around the local impact of climate change, an orientation to the county’s climate goals and planning process, outline of the community engagement process to date, introduction of the consultants working on the plan and introduction of the strategies and principals included in the draft plan. The draft principals and strategies center racial equity and environmental justice, consider the impact of carbon neutrality on workers, the economy, health and community.
Steering committee members helped to facilitate portions by addressing the draft strategies: Energy Transition, Infrastructure, Circular Economy, Mobility, Working Farms and Natural Areas and Health, Local Food and Preparedness. Participants then broke out into small groups to map out how draft actions could be implemented throughout the county.
“There are still lots of opportunities for folks to engage around the draft plan.”, shared DeLeeuw, “We will shift and adjust as necessary to develop a plan reflective of the needs of both the organization and the community. We will take it back to community for feedback later this summer before presenting to the Board in the fall.”
The next, half-day, Climate Leadership Summit is set to take place on July 14th. The group will re-convene to continue to refine the draft plan based on staff and community feedback
For more information, to review the draft plan or to provide feedback, please visit ResilientWashtenaw.org. For more news from Washtenaw County Administration, subscribe to the monthly “Administrator’s Report”.