On May 15th, Lamont McClure and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) held Northampton County’s first Climate Summit at Lehigh University. One-hundred and twenty people attended to learn about the effects climate change will have on Northampton County, what steps can be taken to mitigate the damage, and how climate change affects human health.
On Friday, May 10th, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii measured carbon dioxide levels at 415 ppm – the highest number the observatory has recorded since it first began analyzing greenhouse gases in 1958. The 415 ppm value is 100 ppm higher than any point in 800,000 years of data on atmospheric CO2 levels.
“We are a small county of 300,000 people in a world of nearly eight billion, but a global crisis requires everyone to do their part,” says Lamont McClure. “Northampton County is moving quickly to preserve farms and environmentally sensitive lands. Our new buildings will be environmentally sustainable, and we are helping to fund a low impact hydropower project.”
Currently, Northampton County has preserved 3,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land and 15,000 acres of farmland. Lamont McClure hopes to preserve another 10,000 acres by 2020.
Presenters included Dork Sahagian, a Professor of Earth & Environmental Science at Lehigh University, Andrea Wittchen, a co-founder and principal of iSpring, a woman owned consulting firm that offers services for organizations that want to improve their sustainability performance and Dr. Howard Kipen, a Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health.
The summit included a panel discussion with Tara Zrinski, a Northampton County Councilwoman, Frank Untermyer, Director of Supply Chain Management for C.F. Martin & Co. and Mark Stein who leads the energy engineering for the Bethlehem School District.
Information provided to TVL by:
Deputy Director of Administration
Northampton County Government Center
669 Washington Street
Easton, PA 18042