EESG Climate Action
During the summer of 2023, members of the Energy and Environment Specialty Group leadership approached the President and Executive Director of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) with concerns over the carbon and climate implications associated with hosting the 2024 annual meeting in Hawaii. Our concerns were heard, not dismissed or downplayed, and as a result, generated a series of conversations over potential pathways to mitigate carbon emissions from the annual meetings along with broader operations of the AAG moving forward.
Due to our concerns over the inability to avoid, what we felt were excessive carbon emissions resulting from air travel to Hawaii, the Energy and Environment Specialty Group made a decision to only participate in the 2024 annual meeting in Hawaii virtually. Our statement was posted to our X (Twitter) page and can be read here @AAG_Energy
As a result of our initial conversations, AAG President Rebecca Lave wrote a column discussing the 2024 annual meeting and climate change, noting how EESG leadership had engaged in discussions and made recommendations on possible solutions. Moreover, AAG Executive Director Gary Langham also wrote about EESG efforts to work alongside AAG leadership to reduce carbon emissions. The AAG now has a new tab on its website dedicated purely to climate action, it can be found here: https://www.aag.org/program/aag-action-on-climate-change/ or accessed from the main page. Simply go to aag.org and hit the drop-down menu on the "community" tab.
Both the current EESG Chair Tom Ptak and Vice-Chair Ryan Stock serve on the AAG climate action task force. Here they work with other AAG members to aid in finding ways to lower carbon emissions and help AAG achieve its goal to reduce emissions from the annual meeting by 45% in 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Finally, the Energy and Environment Specialty Group represents a community of members, many of whom are experts working on issues specific to energy and climate change. If members have ideas about how to help in reducing carbon emissions, or are interested in joining the conversation, then please do reach out, we'd love to hear from you.