Pathfinders: Climate-Smart Solutions from Rural America and Native Nations

Drought and wildfire in the West, rising seas and erosion in the Mississippi River Delta, and erratic weather patterns throughout the entire country are destabilizing rural and Tribal economies and quality of life. These climate impacts are worsening the already disproportionate burdens placed on rural people and Native nations because of a history of disinvestment and extractive natural-resource industry practices. In the face of these simultaneous global and hyper-local challenges, rural America and Native nations are essential partners in forging a different future.

July 16, 2021 speakers shared stories and practical tips from rural regions that are leading the way to this better future through climate-smart innovations. These pathfinders are also addressing key power-shifting challenges along the way: How can our transition to cleaner energy economies that reduce carbon emissions also strengthen community by engaging Native nations and rural communities of color? How can rural organizations build and retrofit more energy-efficient homes and offer new community energy options intentionally designed to build more financial stability for low-wealth people?

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group
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