Washington, D.C. – At the inaugural meeting of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Climate, Energy, and Environment Policy Committee on July 22, 2009, Chairman Jay Fisette (who also serves on the COG Board of Directors and as Vice Chairman of Arlington County) led committee members in discussions on home energy audit programs and energy-efficient street lighting options in the region.
Stuart Freudberg, COG’s Director of Environmental Programs, also provided a brief overview of the recommendations – including regional greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets – put forth in the National Capital Region Climate Change Report, which the COG Board of Directors adopted in November 2008. The report was the culmination of the work of COG’s Climate Change Steering Committee, the precursor to the Climate, Energy, and Environment Policy Committee.
The report overview was followed by a dialogue among members on the future topics of discussion and strategic priorities for the new committee. Chairman Fisette said that tangible deliverables will be necessary if the region hopes to meet or exceed the recommendations put forth in the Climate Change Report. Therefore, Fisette stated that the initial effort of the committee should be to establish a work plan that includes specific goals, as well as a timeline for action and a clear provision of responsibilities for achieving these goals.
Fisette and Freudberg urged the new committee to work with existing COG policy committees, such as the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) and the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee (MWAQC), as well as the numerous technical committees and subcommittees that are already working on related issues. The Climate, Energy, and Environmental Policy Committee will meet on the fourth Wednesday of every other month.