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COP26 coverage: Resources and interview opportunities

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON -- Representatives from about 200 countries are set to attend the United Nations’ climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12. The event is expected to attract an estimated 25,000 people -- from world leaders to protesters -- and will be a hub for news on a variety of issues related to global warming.

Nations are poised to present their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. These blueprints are supposed to be in line with the 2016 Paris Agreement. In that compact, countries committed to do their part to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to aim to maintain levels below a 1.5 degrees Celsius rise. 

Along with broader pronouncements, countries including the United States, as well as companies and organizations, are expected to use this venue to make news in such areas as electric vehicles, limiting deforestation, phasing out fossil fuels and increasing support for renewable energy.

Experts from The Public Interest Network’s national advocacy groups U.S. PIRG and Environment America and their policy and research arm Frontier Group have been leading voices for decades on many of the key issues that will be addressed at COP26.

The following are resources -- both reports and people -- which could provide valuable context, background and expertise on issues that arise at the Glasgow event.

Recent reports on infrastructure and related issues from Environment America, U.S. PIRG and Frontier Group:

Overviews

Report: Blueprint for America

Carbon Pricing 101

Renewable energy/energy conservation/energy storage

Report: Renewables on the Rise (2020 version; 2021 version due out 11/9)

Offshore Wind for America

Electric Buildings

Shining Cities 2020

Making Sense of Energy Storage

Solar Homes

Transportation

Report: Highway Boondoggles

Report: Destination Zero Carbon

Report: Electric Buses in America

Report: Transform Transportation

Plugging In

Conservation

Report: Reconnecting Nature

The following experts are available to interview either over the phone or on camera:

Clean energy:

Johanna Neumann, johanna@environmentamerica.org, is the senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy at the local, state and national level. Her team has long advocated for improving our homes and businesses to use energy more wisely, promote community solar projects and make every new home a solar home. Johanna has appeared on-camera for numerous outlets, including NBC and  MSNBC’s Hardball, and been quoted in such publications as the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. 

The climate crisis:

Matt Casale, mcasale@pirg.org, is the director of U.S. PIRG’s environment campaigns. The program aims to implement climate solutions that support a cleaner, healthier future for our children and grandchildren, including stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure, ending subsidies for polluting industries and investing in clean, renewable technologies. Matt is also lead on much of PIRG’s infrastructure work, and has co-authored research reports on the subject, including the Blueprint for America. He has been interviewed and quoted by several major national media outlets, including The Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, The Boston Globe and Citylab, and published an opinion piece in The Hill on what should be included in a sustainable infrastructure plan.   

Conservation:

Steve Blackledge, sblackledge@environmentamerica.org, is the senior director of Environment America’s Conservation Program. He led our successful national campaign to win full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Program through the Great American Outdoors Act. Steve's team works to protect our lands and waters -- from the Tongass National Forest in Alaska to the Florida Keys. They advocate for the wildlife with which we share our planet, including right whales, monarch butterflies and more. He is also well-versed in the effort to protect 30% of our land and water by 2030. Steve has appeared on and in a wide variety of media outlets, including on CBS News.

Infrastructure and federal policy:

Lisa Frank, lfrank@environmentamerica.org, is the executive director of Environment America’s Washington legislative office and a vice president of The Public Interest Network. Lisa directs strategy and staff for Environment America's federal campaigns. She also oversees The Public Interest Network's Washington, D.C., office and operations. She has won millions of dollars in investments in walking, biking and transit, and has helped develop strategic campaigns to protect America's oceans, forests and public lands from drilling, logging and road-building. She also has expertise in the legislative process that relates to environmental and infrastructure policy.

Transportation

Tony Dutzik, tony@frontiergroup.org, is an associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group, a research and public policy organization. He has co-authored or supervised the production of numerous reports on transportation policy, including reports on infrastructure finance (Who Pays for Roads?, Private Roads, Public Costs), future infrastructure needs (A New Direction), zero-carbon transportation (A New Way Forward), and electric vehicle charging (Plugging In). A former journalist, Tony has been featured in reports by such media outlets as The New York Times, Financial Times and The Economist.

Morgan Folger, mfolger@environmentamerica.org, runs Environment America’s Clean Cars Campaign, which aims to reduce emissions from America’s top contributor to the climate crisis: the transportation sector. Morgan works to generate support for policies nationally and in states across the country that electrify cars, electrify buses, and reduce the need to drive. She co-authored recent reports on decarbonizing the transportation sector and air pollution, and has been interviewed and quoted by several major national media outlets, including Popular Science and Smart Cities Dive, and published an opinion piece in CNN.Com on clean car rules.

 

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The Public Interest Network runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.

Environment America is the national federation of statewide, citizen-based advocacy organizations working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.

U.S. PIRG is the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations that stand up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.

Frontier Group is a think tank that provides information and ideas to help build a cleaner, healthier and more democratic America.

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