As seen at Mountain Times:

RANDOLPH – Strategies for keeping Vermont in the forefront of stimulating the growth of green jobs while reducing carbon emissions were abundant at the Feb. 22 Summit on Vermont’s Climate Economy at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.

Over 400 innovative business, non-profit, and community leaders, the Governor’s Climate Cabinet, local officials and students agreed there is an increasing demand in the global marketplace for low carbon solutions. They spent the day developing new partnerships and actions to assure Vermont remains a leader that can attract and nurture businesses in energy development and conservation, resource recovery, and other related sectors.

The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) organized this event to advance the bold new vision and opportunities recently identified in the report it issued for the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council.

In his opening remarks Senator Patrick Leahy said, ”Time and again Vermonters come together, identify solutions, and become real leaders in showing the rest of the country how it can be done — thoughtfully, and with real results.”

VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello added, ”Vermont is in position to be the friendliest place in the country for creating jobs that build from our values while addressing the enormous challenge of climate change.”

During the working sessions portion of the summit, a wide variety of fields that are part of the climate economy were represented, including transportation, education, downtown redevelopment, tourism, and efficiency.

During his keynote address, Danny Kennedy of the California Clean Energy Fund pointed to the rapid deployment of creative new companies in California and across the United States and the important role public policy plays in stimulating investment and producing new jobs while reducing carbon impacts.

VCRD’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Rick Davis, president and co-founder of the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children. Davis’s steadfast commitment to early childhood development continues to have a tremendous impact through the expansion of early childhood learning opportunities in Vermont.