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Focal Point: The Climate Group's 2nd Annual North America Members Meeting

12:00AM, 16 April 2009
12:00AM, 16 April 2009
To Be Confirmed
Focal Point: The Climate Group's 2nd Annual North America Members Meeting

The Climate Group held FOCAL POINT, the 2nd Annual North America Members Meeting, April 5 - 7 in Washington, DC.

Trina Mallik, The Climate Group's Director of Member Engagement, welcomed corporate and government members of The Climate Group who gathered to discuss international and US federal climate policy and GHG emissions reducing technologies.

The Climate Group kicked off this year's meeting with "Climate Action Initiative" - an interactive session demonstrating the complex challenges international delegates will face in Copenhagen in December 2009. Andrew P. Jones, Program Director at the Sustainability Institute, and Dr. Bob Corell of the Heinz Center, led participants through the role-playing simulation of global climate negotiations and the implications of various reduction agreements.

A heightened sense of urgency instilled, the members then heard Mark Kenber, The Climate Group's Policy Director, discuss how The Climate Group is ramping up its global policy work. Kenber described what a successful agreement at Copenhagen might resemble and explained how our continuing work with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on the Breaking The Climate Deadlock project is providing a better chance for a successful global deal.

Evan Juska, The Climate Group's Senior Policy Manager for North America then moderated "The View from Capitol Hill" - a panel of Congressional staffers featuring Chris Adamo, Legislative Counsel for Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Joe Goffman, Majority Senior Counsel for the US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. Adamo and Goffman detailed proposed US legislation and what they believe it will take for key Midwestern senators to support federal climate policy.

Paul Brownell, Senior Manager, Federal Government Relations for Dell, Inc. briefed members on the evolution of the Digital Energy Solutions Campaign (DESC) which is an ad-hoc coalition focused on IT industry solutions to climate and energy challenges. The framework for much of DESC's work was derived from The Climate Group report Smart 2020. DESC is providing powerful leadership on Capitol Hill and showcases how collaborative corporate engagement can effect public policy development. The Climate Group is an affiliate of DESC.

Michael Allegretti, Director of Government Relations for North America, then rolled out The Climate Group's new US federal government engagement strategy. Allegretti and Kate Krebs who leads the Washington DC office then challenged members - both corporate and government - to step up and work with The Climate Group to accelerate the business case for comprehensive US federal climate policy.

Dasha Rettew, The Climate Group's Partnership Manager described The Climate Group's LED piloting and deployment program and the rollout of other Climate Group technology work.

The government relations team outlined a series of specific actions that each of our members can take to participate in our federal policy strategy - from appearing in Congressional hearings, to jointly developing green jobs/green economy announcements, to supporting its research and disseminating results.

Members then broke out into smaller working-groups to discuss how they might participate in The Climate Group's work in moving federal climate policy. An additional value to these small discussions was the time members had interacting with each other and collaborating on ideas to help move the federal strategy forward. By the end of the working group time, members were focused and determined to start taking action in a more meaningful way around a set of clear policy goals.

On the second day, members attended a tour of CBRE's Gold LEED certified facilities before participating in an interactive session about emissions reducing technologies.

The rest of the morning was devoted to The Climate Group's new global technology strategy. A panel of technology experts briefed members on the critical technologies that The Climate Group will be helping to scale up over the next three years. Panelists included representatives from member companies Better Place (electric vehicles), Duke Energy Corporation (CCS), Goldman Sachs (concentrated solar), and CBRE (smart Buildings) as well as Phil Jessup, The Climate Group's Cities & Technology Program Director (LEDs).

This well-attended event attracted senior business and government representatives from a diverse range of sectors. This included delegates from: Better Place, British Telecommunications, CBRE, City of Los Angeles, Climate Change Capital, Coca-Cola, Dell, Duke Energy Corporation, Fresh & Easy, Goldman Sachs, HDR, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Motorola, Inc., MWH, Nestle Waters North America, New York City, News Corporation, Nike, Quebec, Standard Chartered, Swiss Re, and Timberland.

The event was hosted by The Climate Group member CBRE in their Washington DC offices.

Sponsors for FOCAL POINT included member companies MWH, HDR and Florida Power and Light Company.

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