Rural Climate Dialogues

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Rural communities face serious risk from changes in weather and climate. Rural communities are also well-positioned to proactively address these risks and develop society-wide solutions to the challenges presented by changes in the climate.

Along with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, we’re seeking to move conversations on climate change forward through the Rural Climate Dialogues.

Climate Dialogues help rural communities think critically and plan strategically to address local challenges related to weather and climate. The Dialogue process brings together a randomly selected but demographically balanced group of 15-18 community members in an intense, three-day moderated study and deliberation forum. Participants are tasked with creating a shared, community-based response to changing weather conditions and extreme weather events.

The Dialogue group has the liberty, information, and resources to produce their own recommendations that respond to community needs, priorities, concerns, and values in order to maintain and strengthen the resilience and prosperity of their community. These recommendations serve as a starting pointing for ongoing community conversations and action.

Currently, three communities are participating in the Rural Climate Dialogues program. Read the recommendations and ongoing efforts from each community, and the outcomes of the State Convening which brought participants from all three together:

The Jefferson Center and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, along with our local partners, will work to widely publicize the event and engage panelists and community members inspired by the conversation to work on these issues as local leaders. We continue to support the community as they work to implement citizen recommendations.

The Rural Climate Dialogues are made possible thanks to generous support from the McKnight Foundation.

You can support this work by making a contribution today!

If you’re interested in hosting a Climate Dialogue in your community, or just want to learn more, please let us know.