Aspen, CO—A summit on sustainability featuring presentations, film screenings, and a host of influential activists and leaders took place at the Hotel Jerome from August 10–13. The 11th annual American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit was hosted by the non-profit American Renewable Energy Institute, and included the likes of former President Jimmy Carter, Ted Turner, T. Boone Pickens, Dr. Sylvia Earle, CNN anchor Natalie Allen and U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado.
The tagline for the conference is “Accelerating Solutions for The Great Transition” in reference to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal and others that may help society revolutionize the way it creates and uses energy. Speakers and attendees from the sectors of government, science, finance, investment, and technology development and deployment were represented in Aspen.
Several components make up AREDAY in addition to the summit itself and its long list of esteemed presenters. The AREDAY Climate and Energy Literacy Initiative (ACELI) is designed to help bridge the climate and energy literacy gap by funneling science into popular culture. ACELI works to promote messaging about climate change through film and media, social networks, broadcast networks and educational institutions. ACELI is a collaboration of the Climate Literacy Network, Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), government agencies, the private sector and the media.
Alongside the summit, AREDAY hosts a film festival featuring award-winning films and their directors and producers. Past screenings have included including The Cove, Into the Cold, Fuel, 11th Hour, Climate Refugees and Avatar. A Renewable Energy Expo is also a mainstay of the event, and it is free and open to the public. The expo demonstrates leading-edge renewable energy technologies, and has featured exhibitors such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Wind Powering America, SunEdison, and Tesla Electric Cars.
The AREDAY Media Enterprise records the events of the summit and also produces interviews for later distribution. In association with several partners including CSPAN, recordings of AREDAY panels, keynotes and renewable energy demonstrations will be made available as educational programming to high schools, community colleges, universities and public television broadcasts, as well as for streaming on the internet.
The mission of AREDAY is, according to the summit’s Web site, “To create vibrant and powerful cross-sector dialogue, commitments, collaborations and investments that foster climate change solutions at the speed and scale necessary to phase out fossil fuels, and usher in a rapid transition to a new, clean energy economy.”
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2014