In September 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Minorities in Energy Initiative (MIE) as a platform to increase engagement of minority and tribal communities in the broader energy sector, with a focus on minority-owned businesses and workers. MIE initiatives focus on the three primary goal areas of STEM education and workforce development, energy economic development, and climate change. As part of the climate change goal, DOE is hosting eight Regional Climate Change Impact Webinars as part of the MIE initiative.
Experts will provide findings from the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and outline federal energy policy objectives, proposals, and actions as they relate to climate change and resilience for underserved communities. An expert on energy and climate change job strategies will discuss job opportunities and regional options for renewables and energy efficiency. Authors of the National Climate Assessment will discuss their findings and the regional applicability to those communities who are disproportionally impacted by the effects of climate change. In collaboration with US Global Climate Change Research Program, we hope to engage a diverse audience through these regional webinars.
To register, locate your region in the table below. Click on the registration link and select the corresponding region and date from the drop down list.
Date Region Speaker Register (click on date) Archived Webinar Recording July 9, 2015 Northeast Emily Cloyd & Fred Lipschultz Northeast Webinar Recording August 6, 2015
Southeast & Caribbean
Jayantha Obeysekara & Camille Coley Southeast & Caribbean Webinar Recording September 29, 2015 Alaska Sarah Trainor October 1, 2015 Midwest Sara Pryor Register for October 1 November 5, 2015
Hawaii & Pacific Islands
Jo-Ann Leong & Victoria Keener Register for November 5 Hawaii & Pacific Islands Webinar Recording December 3, 2015 Great Plains Bull Bennett Register for December 3 January 7, 2016 Southwest Hilda Blanco Register for January 7 February 4, 2016 Northwest TBD Register for February 4
A Message from Director Dot Harris
I am very pleased to support the Regional Climate Change Impact Webinar series as part of the Department of Energy’s Minorities in Energy Initiative (MIE). It is imperative that we invoke a sense of urgency in raising awareness of the disproportionate impact of climate change on minority, tribal, and low-income communities in order to proactively devise and implement sustainable mitigation measures. Through the MIE Initiative, we also strive to highlight opportunities in energy-sector job growth and inspire local leadership around climate resilience.
The advent of climate change and increased energy needs will cause minorities and low-income communities to be subjected to additional, undue, financial stress as they will ultimately be forced to pay more for basic necessities such as food, water, and electricity. Sadly, these communities presently pay as much as 25 percent of their incomes on food, water, and electricity alone, and there is already a three-fold difference in the proportion of earnings dedicated to water resources between the highest and lowest income brackets. To further exacerbate this issue, the National Resource Defense Council predicts a $750 billion increase in US spending on water and a $141 billion increase in energy spending by the year 2100. Needless to say, these price increases will disproportionately impact those communities already spending a higher proportion of their incomes on water and energy needs.
Future impacts from climate change will threaten access to traditional food and cultivated subsistence which have provided a range of cultural, economic, and community resources to Native populations for generations. The decline in water quantity, sea ice, and permafrost associated with climate change will directly impact Native water, food, and cultural resources. As a result, Native communities will be especially vulnerable to settlement loss, food and water insecurity, and health impacts, all of which are exacerbated by historically poor representation and socioeconomic conditions.
Despite these disparities, the advent of climate change will provide minority and tribal communities with new job opportunities in the energy sector in climate adaptation, resiliency planning, and renewable energy. Solar industry employment is already growing at a rate that is 10 times the national average and is expected to grow at an increasing rate.
Ultimately, it is our sincerest desire to collaborate with minority and tribal communities interested in climate change impacts and resilience tools to highlight important region-specific resources for climate preparedness. We hope to inspire local leaders to lead the charge against climate impacts and to encourage community building around the common goals of resilience, sustainability, and justice. We look forward to your participation in the webinar.
Visit the YouTube Channel to see past Webinar recordings.
If you have questions about the MIE Climate Change Impact Webinar Series or experience issues registering for the webinars, please email Melinda Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org.