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Cool Community Corps
Empowering Youths to Tackle Climate Change
One Household and Neighborhood at a time


No challenge that humanity has faced could have prepared us to meet the climate crisis. Arresting global warming before it is too late has emerged as nothing less than the central organizing project for our civilization.As the scientific data pours in, it is becoming clear that we have less time than we thought to bring about a reduction in our carbon emissions. According to Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change, “What we do in the next few years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”

The Cool Community Corps is an opportunity for students to have a real and measurable impact on global warming while gaining valuable leadership and community organizing skills. Employing a scalable, time-tested community behavior change strategy and proven carbon-reduction program, it provides students the tools and support to become a powerful force for change on a local level.

The Opportunity

  • 1,017 cities (28% of the U.S. population) have signed the US Conference of Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement committing to reduce carbon emissions in their cities below 1990 levels by 2012, in line with the Kyoto Protocol. Only a handful have achieved this goal.
  •  Over 700 college and universities, representing 5.6 million students, have signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. One of their goals is to empower students to take action in their communities and they are looking for an effective means to do this  
  • 17 states have GHG reduction targets in place and need substantial help achieving them  
  • 12,000 youth attended the Power Shift ’09 climate change event in Washington D.C organized by the Energy Action Coalition. They need a way to sustain this youth interest in taking action on climate change over the long-term


Institution Benefits and Responsibilities

Participating in the Cool Community Corps is a powerful way for the nearly 500 colleges and universities that have signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to fulfill the educational and community engagement aspects of the commitment. It provides a venue to offer a valuable service to the local community and helps foster positive ‘town-gown’ relationships. It also enables a college or university to be on the cutting edge of positive concrete action to abate global warming. The primary commitment is to manage the students. This could include a faculty member who oversees a service learning program, a sustainability coordinator, or other similar position.

 How Cool Community Corps Works

The Cool Community Corps provides students the tools and strategies to implement a Cool Community Campaign. They use these tools to empower community groups, local businesses, city government, and individual citizens to start EcoTeams who go through the Low Carbon Diet carbon-reduction program. They can do this as a student-driven initiative or as part of an already existing campaign, if one exists. This Cool Community Corps provides students the opportunity to build and hone valuable leadership, empowerment and community organizing skills while contributing to the most critical issue facing humanity’s future.

Establishing a Cool Community Corp at your Institution

As a follow-up to the October 20th event on "Empowering a Low Carbon Movement on Your Campus", in February 2011 an Cool Community Corps capacity building training will take place led by David Gershon and hosted by Central Connecticut State University.

For more information on this upcoming training OR if you have additional questions/comments, please click here.

To Learn more about the Empowerment Institute and David Gershon, we encourage you to check out the following:

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