Imagine, a carbon negative Cape Cod.
An island off the coast of Denmark achieved this goal and a leader behind Samsø’s transformation into a carbon-negative island through the use of alternative energy sources will be among three speakers at Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative’s upcoming program, “It’s Time for Climate Collaboration.”
The free event, which will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, June 12, at Barnstable Performing Arts Center at Barnstable High School, 744 W. Main St., Hyannis, will feature speakers Bill McKibben, author, activist and founder of Third Act; Soren Hermansen, alternative energy expert who served as a catalyst to transform his home island in Denmark to a net exporter of clean energy; and Melissa Hoffer, first-in-the-nation Massachusetts Climate Chief under Gov. Maura Healey.
They will share their views on what citizens and local organizations can and should do locally on Cape Cod to address the causes and effects of climate change.
Tickets for the event are available on the Climate Collaborative website
“We are thrilled to bring these three luminaries in the climate change field to Cape Cod, who individually are incredible, and together are a force not to be missed as they inspire collaborative climate work on Cape Cod,” said Dorothy Savarese, Board President of the Climate Collaborative.
McKibben, an author and activist, is the founder of Third Act, which organizes people over the age of 60 for action on climate and justice. He also helped found 350.org, the first global grassroots climate campaign, which has organized protests around climate change on every continent, including Antarctica. McKibben’s 1989 book, “The End of Nature,” is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. He has since written 20 other books, and his work has been featured in publications like the New York Times, the New Yorker and Rolling Stone. He serves as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, and he has won the Gandhi Peace Prize as well as honorary degrees from 20 colleges and universities. McKibben will speak about the need to “bring people together and push them forward”.
Hermansen, who keynoted at the Climate Collaborative’s “Net Zero” conference last October, is the director of the Samsø Energy Academy on Samsø Island, Denmark and the driving force behind the transformation of the island into a carbon-negative island through the use of alternative energy sources. The theme of his remarks will be “If we could do it on Samsø, you can do it here.” He will outline steps his region took to get it done, as well as his thoughts on how Cape Cod could achieve a carbon-negative future. Over a 10-year period in the early 2000s, Hermansen helped set up investment plans for island residents to buy into a collection of alternative energy sources, including solar. In addition to other measures, residents bought shares in new land-based wind turbines. With 11 wind turbines on the island and 10 offshore and, together with other sources, Samso generates enough energy to meet the entire island’s electricity needs.
Prior to her post with the state, Hoffer served in the Biden Administration as Acting General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency. Before assuming the Climate Chief post, Hoffer, who is an attorney, led then-attorney general Healey’s lawsuit against ExxonMobil alleging the company deceived the public about climate change. Hoffer has described climate change as “a defining issue of our time,” and will share some of the things the Healey Administration is doing to address it.
Following the presentations, the speakers will convene in a “fireside chat” format for a question and answer session with audience members. Questions will be solicited in advance.
While the event is free, donations will be accepted, with net proceeds supporting the Climate Collaborative and Sustainable Markets Foundation, the 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor of Third Act.