What We Do
Rural people feel dismissed and discounted. But conversations around climate change don’t have to be polarizing and divisive - grounding observations around extreme weather, landscape challenges and community vitality can start today. When citizens are empowered with locally relevant knowledge, resources and tools they move to action. When empathy leads, we can unlock resources and programs that reduce carbon emissions and develop resilient communities. We must invest in heartfelt conversation. It's transformative.
Focus on Solutions
To get past politics and toward solutions on climate change we must first recognize and acknowledge that climate change is one of a series of economic and social challenges that are hitting rural communities’ disproportionately hard. For rural residents, existential issues on the national level are often felt as personal, physical and emotional considerations. Climate change and climate policy can be a threat to their livelihoods and require a change in personal and community identity. Therefore we must focus on climate change solutions that are intrinsically community solutions.
The Rural Climate Dialogues is the work of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the Jefferson Center, originated by rural visionaries who observed the roadblocks within the climate movement and the erosion of civic discourse and knew we could, and needed to, do better.