The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently announced that Pennsylvania became the second state in the nation to provide state-sponsored climate training with the recent launch of its Pennsylvania Climate Leadership Academy.
The academy provides free online programs to leaders in state and local government offices, businesses and industry, agriculture, infrastructure and community organizations who want to help Pennsylvania combat climate change.
More than 150 participants, including Warrington Township, enrolled in the first program “Climate Leadership Activator.” The academy joins the DEP Local Climate Action Program in climate change education resources from the agency.
“DEP is committed to climate-related educational outreach and technical assistance to meet the growing need among leaders statewide for an understanding of climate change impacts and planning to reduce risk here in Pennsylvania,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “How will more intense heat waves affect our community? How will extreme rainfall and flooding events affect our farmers and supply chains? What can we put in place to lessen disruption? Are there potential opportunities for benefit? These are some of the questions being asked by leaders working to protect Pennsylvanians’ health, safety and livelihoods and the natural resources we all depend on.”
“Climate Leadership Activator” will be followed by a “Certified Climate Change Professional” program in October, and both programs will be offered again in 2022.
The DEP Local Climate Action Program, free and online, trains municipalities to create an inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions. They determine their climate change-related vulnerabilities and, with community input, draft a local climate action plan based on recommendations from the DEP Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan.
The program pairs municipalities with college students from around the state who help research emissions and other plan components. This year, 12 participants represented 121 municipalities.