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ANCA’s virtual annual meeting focused on climate justice

By Eric Reinhardt (


SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) used its virtual annual meeting held Sept. 17 to focus on climate justice.

ANCA’s annual meeting included experts in environmental justice, food systems, clean energy, and climate action who discussed the “importance of climate justice in shaping the region’s economic future.”

ANCA said it believes the climate-justice movement “acknowledges that the global climate crisis is having and will continue to have more severe negative impacts on marginalized populations — including low-income communities and communities of color — and that strategies must be developed to address these inequities.” 

In northern New York, ANCA says it and other organizations are working to make the region’s transition to a clean energy future “as equitable and just as possible.”

“Climate justice has been a growing focus across all of ANCA’s programs as we’ve been actively addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in our work,” Elizabeth Cooper, executive director of ANCA, said in a release. 

Meeting panelists included Alanah Keddell-Tuckey, public outreach specialist for the New York State Department of Conservation’s Office of Environmental Justice; Michael Reilly, executive director and co-founder of Foodshed Capital; and Adam Ruder, assistant director for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Clean Transportation Group. Jen Kretser, director of climate initiatives for The Wild Center, was the moderator. 

Topics for the panel discussion were based on a survey ANCA conducted regarding climate impacts on local residents, businesses, and communities. Panelists spoke about current challenges in the region’s energy and food systems, as well as initiatives and solutions for increasing equity in these arenas. 

Speakers also discussed efforts that are improving access to electric vehicle (EV) technology, supporting small-scale and regenerative farms, and advancing New York State’s goals — as presented in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act — to reduce carbon emissions statewide. 

Cooper said the conversations from the meeting will help inform ANCA’s ongoing work in its three program areas — clean energy, food systems, and the entrepreneurial economy — and advance the organization’s goal to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion across those programs.                   

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