DeKalb Green New Deal Summit to be held on Oct. 14A map of DeKalb County, GA. Image obtained via Google Maps
DeKalb County, GA — The DeKalb Green New Deal Summit, an environmentally focused conference, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, located at 495 North Indian Creek Drive in Clarkston.
DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry will host the event. The summit is free to attend and will highlight sustainability and climate action initiatives throughout the county, including discussions about ways residents can become involved in community activities to make the county greener, according to an announcement.
Topics discussed throughout the day will include tasting an urban landscape with Roots Down, touring sustainable cottage homes with MicroLife Institute, the first clean energy community session for DeKalb’s clean energy plan with Southface Institute, and Retrofitting Suburbia with Ellen Dunham-Jones.
“Our DeKalb Green New Deal is a people-powered organizing effort that will elevate the realities of the climate crisis, push for bold solutions, and help enact meaningful policy solutions to protect our communities,” Commissioner Ted Terry’s website states. “This looks like clean and efficient energy, conserving nature and ensuring it is accessible, and environmental justice and equity.”
Terry hosted an event at the Maloof Auditorium to kick off a “DeKalb Green New Deal” initiative on April 17.
“As we know, climate change is already here,” Terry said while explaining why he feels DeKalb needs the initiative to address climate change. “Georgia is one of the fastest warming states in the country.”
Storms are increasing in frequency and severity, causing more frequent flooding, which puts lives and property at risk and strains emergency services, Terry said. Heat waves, flooding, and erosion will affect agriculture in many parts of the state and strain the power grid and other infrastructure.
Terry says that the goal of a DeKalb Green New Deal is to simultaneously address the effects of climate change on the county while creating new jobs through renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green infrastructure.
A Federal Green New Deal introduced by U.S. Sen.Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 did not pass. Still, some of the same policies were incorporated into the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
Terry said that hundreds of millions of dollars are available through grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the US Department of Agriculture.
“This really is the best time to act,” Terry said.
Here is the event schedule:
8 a.m. Doors open
8:30 a.m. Welcome
9 a.m. Morning Presentation
9:30 a.m. Morning Session
Group A: Field Trip to explore a Productive Urban Landscape with Roots Down and Sustainable Housing Cottages with MicroLife
Group B: Clean Energy Workshop towards DeKalb County’s 100% Clean Energy Plan with Southface Institute
11:30 a.m. Lunch
Guest speaker Ellen Dunham Jones on Retrofitting Suburbia
12:30 p.m. Break
12:45 p.m. Afternoon Session
Group A: Clean Energy Workshop towards DeKalb County’s 100% Clean Energy Plan with Southface Institute
Group B: Field Trip to explore a Productive Urban Landscape with Roots Down and Sustainable Housing Cottages with MicroLife
3:00 pm Trail Development Study with Commissioner Long Spears and Walter Brown of DeKalb County Commission District 2
3:30 p.m. Village Conservation Community Presentation with Village Habitat Design, Farmer D, and Kimley Horn
4:00 p.m. Call to Action
4:30 p.m. End
5:30 – 8 p.m. After Party at Best End Brewing with the Green New Deal Network and Georgia Conservation Voters
The DeKalb Green New Deal Summit will also include an optional sunrise hike at Arabia Mountain on Oct. 15 at 6:30 am.
Writer Sara Amis contributed to this story.
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