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Building Capacity to Address Climate Change in the National Capital Region

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On February 17-18, Lacey Shaver, Community Engagement Manager for STAR Communities, attended the National Capital Region Climate Fundamentals Academy offered by the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO).

The two-day training academy, the first of a three-part series, was a primer on climate science, identifying climate hazards, conducting vulnerability assessments, leveraging climate change data and tools, understanding organizational change and developing stakeholder engagement strategies. The series supports decision makers across roles, functions, and sectors to develop a better understanding of how the implications of climate change intersect with their decision-making.

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ACCO produces the Climate Fundamentals Academy series in cities throughout the United States, having already hosted the first workshops in Fort Lauderdale, Boston and DC. New series locations in San Diego and San Francisco have been announced, and ACCO plans on launching more in New Orleans, Chicago, Denver and Vancouver (Canada). Working with local government agencies in the region in which the workshops are hosted, ACCO tailors content to the region with their help to ensure that training materials resonate with and serve the needs of attendees.

In the case of the February workshop, ACCO partnered with the District Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) and Metropolitan Council of Governments to produce the workshop, which featured instructors from organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the DOEE, and The Nature Conservancy.

The event had over 50 attendees, many from the Washington, DC city government and Federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy. Professionals from the public and private sectors, higher education and the NGO community benefited from the classroom-style, interactive training activities. They also earned credits applicable to the CCO CertificationTM Climate Governance Certificate, satisfying roughly one-third of the certificate requirements, and many will earn continuing education credits for maintenance of other credentials.

Workshop participants also attended a walking tour of the 17th Street Levee on the National Mall, led by staff from the National Parks Service, USACE, and DOEE. Attendees learned about the project from design, implementation and management perspectives, and benefitted from seeing this local adaptation project first hand as well as understanding the collaborative process by which it came about.

The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization for executives and officials worldwide in industry, government, academia and the non-profit community. ACCO seeks to enable all organizations to be more sustainable by building enterprise capacity and empowering leaders to respond to climate change threats and increase business competitiveness. ACCO provides a variety of training and education events addressing climate-related risks and opportunities, and maintains a CCO certification program to develop a climate-savvy workforce.

Upcoming events include:

  • Fort Lauderdale (March 29-30)
  • San Diego (May 17-18)
  • Boston (May 24-25)
  • San Francisco (June 14-15)

For more information on ACCO, contact Daniel Kreeger at dkreeger@accoonline.org.

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