KySEA’s Voice Heard in Climate Action Plan Council Controversy
The Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council is an advisory group representing “academia, agriculture, business, forestry, industry, environmental groups and many levels of government”, convened in December 2009 for the purposes of “collectively developing an action plan to address the causes of climate change, prepare for the likely consequences and impacts of climate change to Kentucky, and establish firm benchmarks and timetables for implementing the KCAPC recommendations.” The Council has met four times over the past several months, with each meeting open to the public. In between full Council meetings, Technical Working Groups – also open to the public – have convened to allow for a detailed consideration and study of various policy options related to the Climate Action Plan.
However, in the dog days of August – 8 months into the Council’s process – the Government Contract Review Committee voted 6-0 (with one abstention) to disapprove the contract with the Center for Climate Strategies, the DC-based consulting firm hired to facilitate and support the Council’s processes.
KySEA members have participated throughout the Council’s process, some formally as members of the Council itself and others as active public participants. While KySEA members expressed concerns early on regarding the transparency of the appointment process and representation of appointees, the dialogue that occurred during the Council meetings as well as the data being assembled with the support of the Center for Climate Strategies have been steps in the right direction for Kentucky. Recognizing the importance of these nascent efforts, KySEA members came together to encourage Governor Beshear’s administration to override the Contract Review Committee’s recommendation and continue with the contract to the Center for Climate Strategies.
We submitted this letter to Governor Beshear, Secretary Peters and Secretary Miller. We were thrilled to hear that the Administration agreed on the need to maintain the climate conversation and continue assessing Kentucky’s potential impacts and opportunities. Secretary Miller’s letter to the Committee, informing of the decision to retain the Center for Climate Strategies is available here.
KySEA members will continue to engage in the Climate Action Planning Council process and share learnings with all our members and supporters.