The Climate Protection Action Committee (CPAC) is a volunteer group established by the City of Columbia to identify ways the City can reduce greenhouse gases.
CPAC addresses four areas which impact climate change and quality of life:
- Air quality
- Energy conservation
- Water conservation
- Recycling and waste reduction
- CPAC was organized in 2006 shortly after the City of Columbia signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, an initiative launched to advance the goals of the Kyoto Protocol through leadership and action. (The Kyoto Protocol was the first agreement between nations to mandate country-by-country reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.)
- Under the Agreement, Columbia committed to strive to meet or beat Kyoto targets in our community through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land-use policies to urban forest restoration projects to public information campaigns.
- The committee's initial focus was internal to City government and is now also focusing on community outreach and education programs to encourage others to take action to live in a more sustainable manner.
- CPAC is guided by a Climate Action Plan, which was created in 2006 by City staff and community leaders and has been updated on a regular basis. This plan guided and continues to influence the work of CPAC ; click here to view the Action Plan.
- CPAC has two categories of membership: appointee and advisory.
Appointee Members: There are a total of seven City Council appointments; appointees meet monthly and lead CPAC. Appointees serve City Council members in an advisory role and help vet information as requested. Appointees meet on the second Wednesday of every month at 8:30 a.m. at the City's Public Works Facility, 2910 Colonial Drive.
- Penny Delaney Cothran, Sierra Club
- Louis Dessau, USC Moore School of Business (Vice Chairman)
- John Epting, Brown and Caldwell (Chairman)
- Zach Laprise, University of South Carolina
- Deb Stirling, Infinite Habitat at Innovista
- Dr. Lori Ziolkowski, University of South Carolina
Advisory members: Advisory members are invited by way of their position or affiliation with agencies, governments, environmental non-profits or other groups with an interest in sustainability. Advisory members meet quarterly to share ideas and information and to receive updates on City sustainability initiatives. This group, which includes appointees, meets on the second Wednesday on the first month of each quarter, except for July. The location varies.