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Carbon Action Alliance Exhibits at Society of Environmental Journalists’ Conference

Carbon Action Alliance Exhibits at Society of Environmental Journalists’ Conference

Action Alliance Staff Reflect on Science Communicators’ Critical Role in Climate Action

Hundreds of journalists, science communicators, nonprofits, academics, government officials, and others congregated on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus in Philadelphia for several days in early April to discuss the pressing topics taking centerstage in environmental journalism. The annual conference, held by the Society of Environmental Journalists, addressed the nuances of environmental reporting and how to improve its quality and accuracy.

The Carbon Action Alliance (Action Alliance) participated as an exhibitor for its second year, holding conversations with media and environmental advocates from across the United States and other countries on carbon management’s role in pathways that bring emissions to net-zero by midcentury. Main topics of conversation staff had with attendees included how to decarbonize some of the highest emissions-intensive sectors, such as cement and steel, and how to deploy carbon management technologies alongside other clean energy technology to reduce emissions and drawdown the stores of carbon in the atmosphere by midcentury.

What Our Team Learned

As the Action Alliance’s communications and public relations strategist, I traveled to Philadelphia with Environmental Justice Fellow Vilas Annavarapu to share educational materials about carbon management, along with the latest research from the Great Plains Institute’s Carbon Management Program. At the Action Alliance, we focus on carbon management and industrial decarbonization technologies, which play a crucial role in addressing climate change, alongside other tools, such as renewable energy, cutting emissions, and land-based carbon sequestration. (Learn more about carbon management here.)

Science communicators play a crucial role in facilitating the energy transition and are the bridge between policymakers, technology researchers, project developers, and everyone affected by these global changes happening in the present and future. Looking at a room of more than 1,000 science communicators in Philadelphia, I found everyone united by a desire to share transparent, factual information with the people affected by climate change and mitigation strategies (in other words, everyone). We heard a variety of perspectives ranging on carbon capture and carbon dioxide removals technologies, with some recognizing them as viable solutions in addressing climate change, with most people falling somewhere in the middle. But one recurring theme underscored all these conversations—a desire for effective climate action.  

I walked away inspired by the creative and determined attitudes fellow attendees showed when asking the tough questions about new technologies and climate action proposals, and the dedication demonstrated when discussing how to continually improve environmental reporting to best serve the public.

Action Alliance’s Role as a Communicator

The Action Alliance launched in 2022 as an initiative of the Great Plains Institute (GPI) to fill a needed information gap on how carbon management technologies work, why they’re included in the models of net-zero pathways by organizations like the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and how communities are centrally involved in the development of these projects on a local level. We serve as the portal into the work of GPI’s Carbon Management Program. 

We have a store of resources covering topics such as, an introductory guide to carbon management, research on potential air quality benefits from carbon capture, how CO2 transport infrastructure like pipelines work, and more. Our collection of materials is expanding, and we’re eager to hear what you want to learn more about. 

Our work at the Action Alliance as part of GPI is philanthropically funded. We work with people and organizations invested in carbon management projects, such as government officials, tribal nations, local community members, project developers, labor unions, and others to find common ground and encourage input from all these groups in carbon management deployment. The Action Alliance does not support specific projects, but rather shares information on responsible, equitable deployment of carbon management technologies as a climate mitigation tool.

Engage with Our Team and Work!

Experts on our team come from a range of backgrounds, including public policy, environmental science, geology, education, labor, and more. A full list of our team members is available on GPI’s website. We host an annual conference on the top discussions in the carbon management space involving all of the different groups listed above at CO2NNECT, held on September 29 to October 1, 2024, in Colorado. We’ll share in our newsletter and our website when registration opens! 

Our team welcomes questions, thoughts, and different perspectives. We believe information is the ultimate powerful tool in effective climate action and climate communications. I invite you to follow our work through signing up for our monthly newsletter and reaching out with any questions or thoughts on our work. Our team is available for media interviews. Reach out to our team with any thoughts, questions, media requests, or otherwise at [email protected]. 

We hope you find our resources helpful and look forward to a chance to connect in the future!