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ecoAmerica’s 11 Biggest Milestones of 2015

By Ellen Hall
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2015 was an incredible year for the climate movement, with leaders in every sector speaking out and demanding climate action. ecoAmerica continued to empower those leaders through summits, programs, and research designed to reinforce effective climate messaging and strategies. It was a busy, inspiring year filled with events and achievements. Here are 11 of our biggest milestones.

1. Path to Positive Communities launches. Our fourth MomentUs program went live in April. This initiative helps local community leaders engage their citizens on climate issues and maximize the opportunities presented by climate solutions.

2. Over 170 leaders attend the MomentUs Leadership SummitOn May 20-21, ecoAmerica brought together prominent national leaders from the faith, health, higher education, business, and communities sectors to discuss impacts and develop actionable solutions to climate change. A full report on the proceedings can be found here.

3. America Knows How launches. Our fifth and final MomentUs program was unveiled on May 21. This initiative empowers small- and medium-sized businesses from a variety of industries to put climate solutions into practice and inspire their employees, customers, and communities to do the same.

4. MacArthur Foundation funds MomentUs. In August, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded ecoAmerica $3 million over two years to support our MomentUs program – their biggest grant to us yet.

5. Climate Health Summit creates climate champions. On September 20-21, Climate for Health and Physicians for Social Responsibility held a symposium for over 200 health professionals from around the country.  Participants learned how to effectively support climate solutions and be powerful advocates for climate action.

6. Blessed Tomorrow supports the Pope’s D.C. visit. To amplify Pope Francis’ call for climate action, Blessed Tomorrow and other faith leaders gathered for Coming Together in Faith on Climate. The coalition held an evening of celebration at Washington National Cathedral onSeptember 24, followed by a leadership summit on September 25.

7. Solution Generation and HACU present $10,000 award for climate leadershipOn October 12, the University of Colorado-Pueblo became the first recipient of the HACU/Solution Generation Award for Leadership in Climate Change Awareness.

8. Climate for Health organizes a session at the 142nd Annual APHA Meeting. We had a big presence at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting, from the opening remarks by ecoAmerica board member Ed Begley, Jr., to the cross-sector panel discussion, “A Look at How Other Sectors Play a Role in Addressing Climate Change and Health in the U.S.”

9. Climate Day LA conference empowers local leaders. On November 6, in conjunction with Climate Resolve, Path to Positive Communities hosted leaders across multiple sectors to meet and discuss climate solutions. The diverse coalition came together to draft a climate declaration that was taken to the Paris conference.

10. Let’s Talk Climate research report released. Presented via webinar on Nov. 20, our latest climate messaging report delivers results from rigorously tested research, designed to engage Americans across political and demographic groups on climate solutions. Download the report here.

11. ecoAmerica reports from Paris. For us (as well as the world), the most important climate event of the year was COP21. Our Vice President of Development, Peggy Knudson, spent a week at the conference, sending back first-hand observations and interviewing MomentUs leaders who were in attendance. Her dispatches offered an inspiring, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the proceedings, and provided important insights for how leaders in every sector can meet the climate challenge.

We’re very proud of what we've accomplished this year, but our work is far from over. As we move into 2016, we will continue to build on our progress and leverage our new partnerships to keep the momentum moving forward.

Happy New Year, and thanks to all of you who have joined us on the Path to Positive!