FAQs

Safeguarding Idaho’s Economy in a Changing Climate

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Safeguarding Idaho’s Economy in a Changing Climate?

Safeguarding Idaho’s Economy in a Changing Climate: Our Water, Our Land, Our Health, Our Future is a two-day summit on November 16 and 17, 2017. It’s designed to explore market-based solutions for safeguarding Idaho’s economy, health, landscape and lifestyle in the face of a changing climate.

Photo: Frankie Barnhill, Boise State Public Radio

What’s the purpose of the Summit?

The purpose of the Summit is to:

  • Explore market-based solutions to a changing climate
  • Showcase successes of Idaho businesses in adapting to or mitigating climate change
  • Identify risks for Idaho businesses and communities – Are we resilient?
  • Reveal and promote optimism and innovation
  • Include mitigation and adaptation solutions

What are the intended outcomes of the Summit?

The Summit has been developed to:

  • Share how Idahoans and communities are addressing or plan to address climate risks
  • Explore economic opportunities and efficiencies and build upon innovative ideas
  • Expand discussions on local solutions and adaptations
  • Build new collaborations, commitments, and ongoing forums
  • Provide resources and references for short and long-term actions and small and large-scale innovations

Who should participate?

The 2017 Summit is a two-day conversation to explore market-based solutions for mitigating and adapting to a changing climate led by:

  • Businesses
  • Resource and land managers
  • Idaho tribes and tribal organizations
  • Researchers and topical experts
  • Public interest organizations
  • Community members
  • Government officials

The public is invited to attend any or all of the Summit.  This is why the Summit is being held in several different locations across the state at the same time.  In addition, the Summit will be streamed live on the internet.  The Summit is more than the 2-day event.  It will also collect resources, videos and innovative tools from Idahoans who are addressing changes to the climate in their work and business. It will involve workshops structured to build new collaborations, commitments, and ongoing forums.

How are the different locations and online streaming coordinated?

The statewide Summit will be held at Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho, November 16 (8:30 AM to 5:00 PM) and 17 (8:30 AM to 3:00 PM), with a reception on Thursday evening from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM at the BSU Stueckle Sky Center. Morning keynote and panel discussions will be live in Boise from the Boise State Student Union Building and streamed online for participants to view at the UI Commons building in Moscow; the Henry’s Fork Foundation Office, 801 Main St, Ashton, Idaho; and the ISU Pond Student Union Building in Pocatello.  Afternoon facilitated workshops will be held at all three venues. Anyone can register to attend in person at any of these three locations.

Any business, school, organization or individual who wants to participate can do so online by streaming the event from our website. Entities that wish to lead their own design thinking workshops can sign up for a training from Warm Springs Consulting on the “Participate – Facilitate” tab of www.idahoclimatesummit.com.

What are the reasons businesses and citizens are planning for a changing climate?

  • Sustainability, marketing, leadership and cost savings is the business case for planning for a changing climate
  • Quality of life for employees, residents and future generations is the human case for planning for a changing climate.

What do you expect the Summit to change?

The changing climate is affecting Idaho’s resources right now.  Many Idaho businesses and managers are already taking action to address real effects from the changing climate in Idaho.  To date, there has not been a broad-based forum for discussing Idaho climate challenges and solutions. The Summit seeks to provide a non-partisan discussion focussing on documented effects in Idaho and solutions or adaptations consistent with Idaho values and needs.  We expect the Summit to further awareness and adaptation with the long-term goal of reducing costs and impacts.

Collaborative solutions and adaptations developed during the Summit will increase learning and efficiency towards meeting this goal while preserving Idaho values and self-sufficiency. Statewide workshop results from the summit will be publicly shared in a post-summit action report to be distributed in early 2018 at idahoclimatesummit.com.

Why a Summit?  Isn’t climate change open to debate and something that no one can do anything about?

The origins of climate change and debating those origins are not the focus of the Summit.  The Summit is intended to address the effects of a changing climate on Idaho, to learn what Idahoans are doing to address these changes, and to develop collaborative and Idaho-driven solutions. It is about learning what and where changing climate effects are occurring, understanding what businesses and others are doing now, and building solutions so that Idaho needs and Idaho values drive problem-solving.

Is the Summit just about environmental concerns?

No. The Summit is structured to address economic, environmental and social concerns. A changing climate impacts many aspects of Idaho life. For example the amount and timing of rain and snow in Idaho that supplies Idaho’s water will be changing.  Farmers know they must adapt to these changes to sustain crops and businesses.  As energy companies adjust their management and predictions of water abundance and supply to produce hydropower, this may affect fish, energy prices, water management, policy, and legal issues.  As tree growth, fire, and tree species are affected by changes in temperature and water availability this will affect air quality, timber supply and markets, rural communities and economies, resource managers, the conservation of native species and hunters and fishermen.  

In short, businesses need to know how a changing climate will affect their costs, supplies, markets, and profits; policy makers and elected officials will need to know how they might address these changes related to infrastructure, energy, taxes, land use, insurance, and health, among other things.  These are but a few examples of how the Summit will assist Idahoans in finding market-based solutions for safeguarding Idaho’s economy, health, landscape and lifestyle.

What do we know about current and anticipated impacts for Idahoans?

To date, no Idaho assessment has been completed to consolidate existing and anticipated impacts on a statewide basis.  However, various local, state, regional, and national assessments have highlighted indicators that demonstrate the impacts a changing climate has already had and is predicted to have in Idaho. These include changes in snowpack and water availability, increases in size and frequency of wildfire, and changes in growing seasons.

Who is funding the Summit?

Initial funding was provided by the professional societies of the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society, the Idaho Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, The Nature Conservancy, and Idaho Power Company.  The steering committee continues to seek grants and contributions by Idaho partners interested in the effects of the changing climate in the Gem State.  All funding obtained will be used only on the Summit and all funders will be identified in the Summit web site and program.  Sponsors of the event are listed on the home page of our website.  Entities interested in sponsoring should contact the Sponsorship Coordinator, Amber Bieg at amber@warmspringsconsulting.com or 208-918-1707.

What is the schedule for the Summit?

The statewide summit will be held at Boise State University, Idaho State University (ISU), Henry’s Fork Foundation Office in Ashton and the University of Idaho (UI), November 16 (8:30 AM to 5:00 PM) and 17 (8:30 AM to 3:00 PM), with a reception on Thursday evening from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM at the Boise State University Stueckle Sky Center. Morning keynote and panel discussions will be live in Boise from the Boise State Student Union Building and streamed online for participants to view at the UI Commons building in Moscow and the ISU Pond Student Union Building in Pocatello.  Afternoon facilitated workshops will be held at all three venues.

Any business, school, organization or individual who wants to participate can do so online by streaming the event from www.idahoclimatesummit.com. Entities that wish to lead their own design thinking workshops can sign up for a training from Warm Springs Consulting on the “Facilitate” tab of www.idahoclimatesummit.com. Statewide workshop results will be shared in a post-summit action report to be distributed in early 2018.

Who is the keynote speaker at the summit?

Keynote speaker Kate Gordon will present: From Risk to Return: Challenges and Opportunities for Idaho in Adapting to a Changing Climate where she will frame U.S. economic risks and opportunities presented by a changing climate and emphasize impacts and ideas for Idaho’s business sectors. Kate Gordon serves as a Senior Advisor at the Paulson Institute, where she provides strategic support on issues related to climate change and sustainable economic growth. She is also a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and is best known for her work as the founding Executive Director of the “Risky Business Project,” co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and focused on the economic risks the U.S. faces from unmitigated climate change.

Thank you for your inquisitiveness and we look forward to seeing you at the summit!  Register here.

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