Climate Change Advisory Committee

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NOTE: This committee was newly created in September of 2015 and we are currently advertising for members to fill nine seats.  More information will be added once the committee has been appointed by the Board of Commissioners.

 

Mission:
The purpose of the Committee will be to make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners and others regarding likely climate change impacts in Chatham County and ways to adapt to and mitigate these impacts, including: (a) reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (primarily CO2) with related improvements in air quality, (b) promoting the use of renewable energy, (c) promoting carbon neutral/green building standards for new and existing buildings both public and private and (d) encouraging resilient conservation–oriented land uses and both residential and commercial land development standards that foster climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Initial Activities:
A key focus of the Committee will be to make recommendations to the County about ways to: (1) reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (primarily CO2), (2) adapt to climate changes and (3) promote educational activities that support both. Initial Committee projects and activities that have been identified include:

  • Study carbon-neutral policies that have been considered and/or adopted by other local jurisdictions and businesses;
  • Identify the sources of energy that are now used in Chatham County;
  • Make recommendations to the County regarding use of the LEED building standards;
  • Make recommendations to the County regarding the sources of renewable energy that could be used to support County and other buildings;
  • Make recommendations to the County regarding energy efficiency of County-owned and other buildings and vehicles;
  • Make recommendations to the County regarding possible amendments to the zoning and subdivision ordinances and building codes to improve the efficiency of residential buildings and the conservation qualities of housing developments;
  • Make recommendations to the County regarding ordinance and regulatory amendments to encourage maintenance of timberland generally, greater use of trees in commercial and residential developments and discouragement of deforestation practices;
  • Make recommendations to foster agricultural practices that avoid unnecessary contributions to climate change;
  • Make recommendations to the County regarding education of the public on issues relating to climate change.
Membership Requirements: 

The Climate Change Advisory Committee will have up to 11 members, with one member each representing the towns of Siler City and Pittsboro, which will determine their representatives. The Committee should consist primarily of members who are dedicated to its mission and who have time and resources available to devote to the work and research that will be necessary to accomplish its objectives. It would be useful if Committee membership also included persons with knowledge relating to:

  • Renewable energy systems
  • Building efficiency
  • Green building standards
  • Conservation standards applicable to both residential and commercial settings
  • Transportation efficiency standards and fuel options
  • Forestry and agricultural practices and management
  • Ecology and environmental science
  • Literature relating to the science of climate change


Committee Support:

The Committee may seek either as “ex officio” members or otherwise help and advice of staff from county government and other local governments, who are knowledgeable about the matters it wishes to consider. It may also look to the local universities, community colleges and other experts for assistance.

Current Members:

  • Michael Petruska
  • Keith McLaurin
  • Scott Moreland
  • Sonny Keisler 
  • John Graybeal 
  • Alicia Ravetto 
  • Judith Vergun 
  • Gregory Ames
  • Whitney Beers Schmidt 
  • Jeff Gannon 
  • Rebecca Peer
  • John Bonitz, representing the Town of Pittsboro
  • Ronald Dameron, representing the Town of Siler City
  • Wesley Seawell, representing the Town of Goldston

    NOTE: County Commissioner Liaison is Diana Hales

Meetings: Link to information about upcoming meetings and past meeting minutes.

Committee Documents & Recommendations:  Click here

Resources: Links to climate change resources