[00:00:00:00] RAJESH: Welcome to climate conversations. I'm Rajesh [INAUDIBLE]. And this week we have Tom Kiley, with whom many of us have been thinking about regional cooperation on climate in the Northeastern region of the United States and Canada.
[00:00:19:11] Tom was the successful organizer of the climate summit on December 7th and 8th, which Climate X was one of the arms through which it was disseminated to the world. Thank you for joining us here, Tom.
[00:00:32:02] TOM KILEY: Thanks for having me.
[00:00:33:11] RAJESH: And of course we have the usual suspects.
[00:00:35:22] DAVE TAMLOR: Dave Tamlor.
[00:00:37:00] KURT NEWTON: And Kurt Newton.
[00:00:38:25] RAJESH: Tom, how tired are you?
[00:00:41:14] TOM KILEY: I'm tired. I'm glad it's the holidays.
[00:00:43:23] DAVE TAMLOR: It was about a week here.
[00:00:45:11] TOM KILEY: That's right. It took some work but it was a lot of fun, I will say.
[00:00:49:12] KURT NEWTON: And well-received by many.
[00:00:51:15] TOM KILEY: I think so. Yeah.
[00:00:52:25] KURT NEWTON: So Tom, for our listeners who aren't familiar with what this glorious summit was about, could you give us a brief run through what its goals were, what its structure was and the like?
[00:01:01:20] TOM KILEY: Sure. Well, this was a two day summit here in Cambridge that brought together policymakers, researchers, and leaders from the industry and nonprofit sectors, to talk about climate challenges and opportunities for addressing those challenges in our region. And our region was Northeastern North America. So it was the six New England states plus New York, and then the four Atlantic Canadian provinces plus Quebec. So those 12 states and provinces, which in a lot of respects have a history of working together on climate change. And so part of what we hope to accomplish was simply to highlight the work that's happening at a regional level.
[00:01:34:24] Partly what we wanted to do was to look for places where we could strengthen connections between policymakers and researchers, ideally for mutual benefit. And then to think about what are some paths forward for the region. So we had, you know, I think great conversations playing out over a couple of days.
[00:01:51:07] KURT NEWTON: And there were a series of panel discussions on, it was about five topics, I think. What were those?
[00:01:56:17] TOM KILEY: That's right. Exactly. So we sort of kicked it off with this overview looking at what are some of the big challenges and priorities in the region, where we had two state policymakers and two provincial policymakers talking about respective efforts in their jurisdictions. Then we talked about electricity markets. Talked about transportation, now the largest source of emissions both in our region and in the US.
[00:02:18:03] We talked about carbon pricing and different approaches there. And of course, now Canada has this pan-Canadian carbon pricing mandate. And so provinces are each looking at how do we implement that mandate. That was day one.
[00:02:30:17] Day two we looked more at just this issue of regional collaboration and why is it important for states and provinces to work together. And, you know, what is all this sub-national action mean and what does it add up to and how do you quantify it. And then we ended with a really great panel on nature-based solutions to climate mitigation and resilience. You know, where we looked at blue carbon, coastal ecosystems. We looked at agriculture. And we looked at forests.
[00:02:55:28] DAVE TAMLOR: And Climate X podcast listeners you're in luck, because you can actually watch the videos of all of those panel discussions. And it's almost like you were there.
[00:03:04:28] KURT NEWTON: So what are the big takeaways for you coming out of the summit?
[00:03:09:23] TOM KILEY: So I think there were maybe two for me. One of them was we sort of tapped a rich vein here. I think there's clearly this appetite for collaboration at the regional scale. And that's what we were-- That's what we hoped and that's what we thought. But I think we really saw that in the room. And it's something that I've certainly heard from participants, that they see the value in it and want more of it. So I think that is probably the obvious one. But still it's there and it's great to see it.
[00:03:37:24] I think the second one for me was just in listening to the conversations that happened over those two days, is this sense of lots of parts that add up to the whole. Right? There's a lot that can happen. So even just taking transportation as an example, right? All of the issues there from technology, to behavior, to policy mechanisms, like the cap and invest proposal that we heard, there's just lots and lots of sort of different little pieces, rather than that one big silver bullet that feels like the way on a regional basis that you start to really make some serious progress.
[00:04:13:26] DAVE TAMLOR: It seemed to be a really strong message that there were really deep discussions and important issues raised and some head scratching and provocative questions asked. And every one of those panels, every one of those topics, there's a lot of energy that's developing. And they all need to be part of the solution. Right?
[00:04:34:04] TOM KILEY: That's right. Yeah, exactly.
[00:04:35:17] KURT NEWTON: And I was hearing a lot of people really express great value in having that personal interaction. It's one thing to read somebody's comments or even watch a YouTube video. But to have that person to person, face to face, hearing exactly what somebody is saying real time and being able to step up to the microphone and ask a direct question or pigeonhole that person at the next break about something that really caught their attention.
[00:04:59:04] TOM KILEY: And what was interesting, there was a mix of, I think, people in the room. And so you had people who've worked together for decades. And ideally, in some of those cases, is a chance for them to reconnect. Maybe they haven't talked in a while and to sort of say, oh, it's interesting. I didn't know what you were up to these days. And maybe there's a way for us to start to work together again. Obviously, there's new connections that were made and that's great.
[00:05:20:17] So it was interesting to see the ways in which people came together for the first time. You know, we had people in the room who we know have had sort of phone relationships for years. Right? They have conducted a lot of business across the region by phone. Never had a chance to meet each other in person. And were able to meet each other for the first time in the room. And I think those kinds of things, where you can just make those sort of personal connections, bring people together, you know, that's important. And that was a big part of what we had hoped to do.
[00:05:46:17] KURT NEWTON: I think another key goal for the summit seemed to be increasing the connections specifically between researchers and academics and the people in the policy making world who are making this stuff happen. That seemed to-- seemed to be a success.
[00:06:02:11] TOM KILEY: Yeah. I think so. And, you know, and again, and I know we're going to talk more about this, but it sort of gets to so where do we go from here and how do we make sure that we sort of take advantage of some momentum that we may have begun to generate, and keep it going. But certainly I think we had a few goals for this summit. One of them, for sure, was to think about how do you strengthen the ties between researchers and the academy on one side and policy makers on the other, for a couple of reasons. Right?
[00:06:28:23] One of them is to help policy makers sort of make the best use of new research insights, cutting edge findings, that kind of thing.
[00:06:34:17] DAVE TAMLOR: Right.
[00:06:35:10] TOM KILEY: And certainly that matters a lot, particularly on some of these really difficult technical issues, like the future of the grid. But just as importantly, actually I think maybe even more importantly, is helping academics and researchers, faculty members both here at MIT, but at institutions around the region, really understand and hear directly from policymakers about what some of the policy challenges are, what some of the political challenges are, and begin to design research projects with all of that in mind. So research projects that are truly policy relevant. And, you know, obviously, at MIT we always say, you know, [LATIN].
[00:07:10:16] DAVE TAMLOR: Meaning? What does that mean again?
[00:07:11:26] TOM KILEY: Hand in mind. And so this idea of we're going to take this practical knowledge and apply it out there in the real world. Well, to do that successfully you've got to hear from policymakers directly. So that, I think, was really important. And it certainly seemed like we had a good start. And now there's work to do to see how do we continue that.
[00:07:32:16] DAVE TAMLOR: And I also noticed that from the crew that you invited, you had a number of people like Deb Markowitz, who's up at the University of Vermont and David Cash, who's at the UMass Boston. Both of those folks have extensive careers in public service at the state level. So they provided a really, really useful bridge function because they know both worlds. So they can translate from one to the other, I think.
[00:07:55:26] TOM KILEY: That's right. Absolutely. And you know, and so having-- I mean both Dave and Deb were fantastic I thought. And really helped to lead these lively discussions. And certainly that was the idea with having Dave Cash moderate that first panel, was here's someone who really shows what it means to wear both hats. Obviously had a big impact when he worked at the state level in Massachusetts. But, you know, he's also a serious researcher. So to be able to bring both of those two things together and get the conversation going on Thursday morning, I thought was great.
[00:08:25:27] RAJESH: So Tom, if you had to pull out one segment from the web stream and tell our listeners go watch this. What would that be?
[00:08:37:11] TOM KILEY: Well, so there were a lot of great moments and it's hard for me to choose one. But I will say, check out Secretary Pollock, from here in Massachusetts, when she talks about transportation. And even gets us thinking, is it even right to think about transportation as a sector. So really interesting and thought provoking and I'd check it out.
[00:08:54:29] KURT NEWTON: And if you can pile on her final statement in that panel about what it's like to run the MBTA, the public transportation system in Boston, was about three minutes of gold.
[00:09:05:19] DAVE TAMLOR: That was great.
[00:09:07:04] RAJESH: So let me, not necessarily play the devil's advocate, but--
[00:09:10:11] DAVE TAMLOR: You know you love to, Rajesh.
[00:09:12:03] KURT NEWTON: Go for it, Rajesh.
[00:09:13:17] DAVE TAMLOR: What if you said, the horns are on.
[00:09:15:24] RAJESH: Right. So one of the challenges I see is that academics, definitely at a place like MIT, but I think pretty much everywhere, if you are an expert in electrification you don't necessarily see the northeast as your watershed. Like you want to think about electrification in Malaysia as much as in Boston. So how do we integrate that domain expertise, which is not necessarily geographical in any form, with the specific needs of this region. What would make it interesting for the policy people and the academics to work on very concrete projects together?
[00:09:56:26] TOM KILEY: Right now, that's a great question. You know, part of it is, I think, looking for those willing partners. So for example, the joint program on the science and policy of global change, you know, we heard from Adam Schlosser, who has just done work looking specifically at the effect of rising temperatures on transformers in the Northeast. And the joint program is involved in some other work in the region. And certainly if people like Jessica [? Transik, ?] who is on the transportation panel, who really interested in being part of these discussions. So part of it is to say, who are people who have a real interest in some of what's going on in the region.
[00:10:26:16] But I will say, and I should say, I'm not a researcher myself. Right? So I don't know how well I can really speak for, you know, for researchers, but it does seem to me that there are benefits of working regionally, just including the fact that you have this easy access to the policy community here. And so if what you're interested in doing is really interfacing with them and testing out ideas and trying to get a sense of how something is going to play in the real world, then you have kind of like a living laboratory here.
[00:10:56:09] This is what Julie Newman, in our Office of Sustainability, who's always a great partner to work with, and she always talks about the sort of different scales of impact, you know, the campus, the city, the globe. But you need somewhere where you can sort of have a living lab and test out your ideas. And in a lot of ways the region provides that. Having said all that, MIT does lots of work all over the world and always will.
[00:11:20:29] So I don't think it's an either/or choice. Right? I think there is opportunity to make a real meaningful contribution here in our home state and in our home region without taking away from all the important work that MIT is doing all over the world, and that has to continue. So, you know, I think there's opportunities there for both.
[00:11:36:24] DAVE TAMLOR: And it's really great not to have to get into an airplane to fly off to some exotic location. But within a few hours you can be in a lot of places where you can collect good data and have those relationships that you're talking about.
[00:11:48:12] RAJESH: And off the top of my head, another thing that comes up is creating sort of the interdisciplinary teams that you need, let's say to understand how transportation and electrification go hand-in-hand with each other, is much easier if the urban planner and the electrical engineer are within a few miles of each other.
[00:12:11:01] DAVE TAMLOR: They're working in the same place.
[00:12:12:28] RAJESH: Right? And so they are complementary in their expertise but they are co-located.
[00:12:19:09] TOM KILEY: That's right.
[00:12:20:26] KURT NEWTON: Absolutely.
[00:12:21:14] DAVE TAMLOR: I haven't had a chance to really debrief on the summit with any of you. You know, what are a couple of your key takeaways and maybe a burning question you were left with still after the summit.
[00:12:31:22] TOM KILEY: So I think on the takeaways it is, again, I think that there's this appetite there. There's something there and now we've got to push on it a little bit and figure out where it leads, which is great. And what was the second part? What's the--
[00:12:44:00] RAJESH: Burning question. Or cooling question, depends given our--
[00:12:50:28] TOM KILEY: I mean, for me, it's I think, the thing I'm really interested in-- is that a burning question. Yeah. But it's what really does regional collaboration look like? So you know, what really is the difference between a policy that you can implement in your state or province unilaterally and something that really benefits from cross-border collaboration. And obviously, Reggie is a great example of that.
[00:13:17:09] So I think for me, a burning question is where are some of those other areas to make progress. I mean, you know, we heard from Pierre Pinot, from HCC Montreal. And he talked about sort of thinking about how do you, you know, better balance these different resources across the region, whether it's hydro or onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, all those things. And so where is a regional approach really a better way to think about some of that stuff.
[00:13:40:04] So I think for me that's a big that's a big question and really something I'm interested in seeing where can we continue that conversation.
[00:13:46:24] RAJESH: Anything burning for you Dave?
[00:13:48:21] DAVE TAMLOR: Yeah. I came out of the summit with that question. How do you highlight both problems and solutions so that people don't get totally depressed of how difficult things are, but can be inspired by all the great things that are happening, maybe not in your state but in a neighboring state or a province in Canada, that we can learn lessons from.
[00:14:08:20] TOM KILEY: Yeah. I'm glad you I'm glad you say that. And I know we're going around here so-- you know, one of the things for me, and part of what we want to do with this was also just simply to put a spotlight on what's happening in the region. Right? These are important issues. We want to make sure that they're getting the attention that they deserve. And so simply trying to highlight that was important. But I'll say for me, I found it really heartening to see policymakers from the states and provinces who, you know, just felt like they're super smart, really committed, and really trying to figure this out.
[00:14:43:03] And I thought they were, you know, really open about some of the challenges that they're facing. I mean, I will say as a resident and voter and taxpayer here in Massachusetts, it was great for me to hear from people like Katie [INAUDIBLE] and Stephanie Pollock, who, you know, just talk about having some really smart, capable public servants makes you feel good about where we're headed. Not to say that we're all going to agree on everything. Maybe there are some places where we think they should do or some places where maybe you do something differently.
[00:15:12:28] But certainly, I felt like there was a feeling, and especially with the sort of state of play at the national level right now, I felt pretty good coming away with this sense of boy, people are really trying to make this work, trying to figure it out.
[00:15:29:04] RAJESH: So in my case, I feel like the take away and the burning question are the same.
[00:15:34:19] KURT NEWTON: It's complicated.
[00:15:36:12] RAJESH: No. Let me explain why. I mean, I felt like-- I'm just playing off what Tom already said. I think it was clear that there's an opportunity. And the specific opportunity I see is tied to the fact that even though there are people there who have worked with each other for decades they don't know what the others are doing. I mean, it's amazing that people who are so capable, so clued in, and who have a long history, still don't have a continuous conversation going on. And so to me that's a great opportunity. Because that can be enabled through this summit and the follow up and future summits. I think it's great.
[00:16:15:23] The burning question is, how do you make that happen? Right? Because I think the fact that smart people haven't figured that out yet suggests that it's not an easy problem to crack.
[00:16:26:26] DAVE TAMLOR: And perhaps one of the places to start is a summit like we just had. You know?
[00:16:31:13] KURT NEWTON: That's right.
[00:16:31:29] TOM KILEY: I know. That was the first step. Right? And then we-- and we see. And, you know, and I will say I mean, to their credit, the New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers have been meeting regularly since the 70s and were really the first, when you think about it with that 2001 regional climate action plan, which, you know, was made before the US made a decision on Kyoto. I mean, it really was, in a lot of ways, pioneering. And there is research by scholars who have looked at this subnational action that suggests it has had a real impact, both in the region and in terms of serving as a model for this kind of thing in other places.
[00:17:07:00] So I think we're lucky that we have this sort of framework in place here in the region that has yielded results. You know, I think we heard at the summit, and this was new to me, I didn't realize this, that at least a couple of the provinces in the New England governors eastern Canadian premiers conference had adopted climate targets that were based on the regional plan. Right? So it's really influencing the state and provincial planning. And so I think one question is how can we continue to support that.
[00:17:32:17] And so with the summit we had looked at their 2017 climate action plan update and said let's look at some of the priority areas they identified. And then figure out how do we get the conversation going in some of those areas. And so for example I thought the nature-based solutions panel was terrific and really interesting. And natural solutions were one of the things talked about in the governors and premiers climate action update. So I think partly thinking through, OK, where are some of these places that policymakers have already identified as we want to make some progress here. And then we think about how can we support that with additional communings with some concerted relationship building between policymakers and researchers, that kind of thing.
[00:18:14:13] RAJESH: So an obvious question comes to my mind, which is just as regional planning can influence the planning of specific provinces, can it influence the planning of MIT?
[00:18:26:12] TOM KILEY: So that's a great question. And, you know, the sort of the way that this all evolved to a large degree was because of these conversations that we were having here at MIT about the campus, and how do we achieve our own carbon emissions reduction goals. And of course now we have this aspiration to carbon neutrality and what does that look like and how do you get there. And I think part of it was this sense of well, the best way to get there, and maybe frankly without a major technology breakthrough, like a fusion reactor that we can put on campus somewhere, perhaps the only way to get there is if we help Massachusetts to achieve its goals. You know, we've got a compact urban campus. The Office of Sustainability and others have looked at this pretty closely and, you know, we know that if we covered every rooftop on campus with solar we'd maybe meet 1% to 3% of our current energy needs that way.
[00:19:13:16] So clearly there's work you can do on the demand side. And that is something that MIT is looking hard at, is energy efficiency in buildings, which are by far our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. But on the supply side, right, when you think about where are we going to get clean sources of energy on a dense urban campus like ours, you really do start to say, you know, our fate is tied to a very large degree to the city and the state and the region. And so if we can help Massachusetts, for example, achieve its 2050 goal of an 80% reduction, maybe that puts us on a pathway to carbon neutrality that we wouldn't be able to get on on our own. So--
[00:19:52:06] RAJESH: Rising tide lifts all boats. Right?
[00:19:54:25] TOM KILEY: So I think these things, you know, these things are clearly connected. And I think that's one of the things we can think about, is collaboration across the region. But it's also about collaboration across sectors. And what is the role of institutions. What's the role of the private sector. We really focused mostly at this summit on this sort of nexus between state and provincial policymaking and research. But that's not to say that we couldn't, you know, go deeper in some of these other places as well.
[00:20:19:13] DAVE TAMLOR: There are other nexuses to be uncovered.
[00:20:22:18] KURT NEWTON: I was struck by how, I don't want I don't want to overstate this, but it kind of felt like the electricity sector, while there's plenty of challenges to be dealt with, was relatively in hand at this point. And a lot of what the summit was talking about was trying to get some of these other sectors to kind of catch up. You know, we've got 10 years or so with Reggie under our belt, for instance with the electricity sector.
[00:20:47:23] So the nature of the discussions that came up around transportation and around nature based systems and the underlying say ability to share consistent data from one sector to another, felt much more open and kind of big and urgent. You know, perhaps like the electricity sector felt 10 years ago. I wasn't around in this space then. But, you know, it felt like them's the frontiers to be putting more attention on it. And I could feel that energy building.
[00:21:19:17] DAVE TAMLOR: So Reggie for transportation, for example, I think that people come up during the summit.
[00:21:24:10] TOM KILEY: That's right. That's right. And the day, I think it was the day before the summit began, you know, the Energy Information Administration reported that transportation is now the largest source of emissions in the United States.
[00:21:34:19] DAVE TAMLOR: Dr. Pollock reported that.
[00:21:35:24] TOM KILEY: That's right. And so that was true in our region already, probably in large part thanks to the success the regions had in tackling the electricity sector. So transportation's this-- it's a big deal. Right? And as Secretary Pollock said, you need a strategic approach, in part because there aren't these high leverage these sort of, how did she put it, these leverage points. Right? The way there are, you know, perhaps in the electricity sector. So it's a really tricky challenge.
[00:22:02:00] RAJESH: In fact, didn't she say something like that there is no such thing as a transportation sector?
[00:22:07:08] TOM KILEY: She did. Right.
[00:22:07:29] KURT NEWTON: 300 million individual choices.
[00:22:11:05] TOM KILEY: So yeah, transportation is a big challenge. And, you know, it was great, I think, that we had Vicki Arroyo from the Georgetown Climate Center, which has done terrific work and now is spearheading the transportation climate initiative. So again, seeing this kind of regional approach with a somewhat different set of jurisdictions than we had at our summit. But still this regional approach to trying to get our arms around the transportation issue. So--
[00:22:36:09] RAJESH: Fantastic.
[00:22:37:11] DAVE TAMLOR: I was hearing a lot of energy for taking all the discussions to the next level, down in detail. So for example, the state representative from Connecticut was suggesting that--
[00:22:48:18] TOM KILEY: Lonnie.
[00:22:49:00] DAVE TAMLOR: Lonnie Reed yes. That she would really welcome working groups to tackle particular issues and problems that cut across the jurisdictions.
[00:22:58:22] TOM KILEY: That's right. And so that, again, sort of speaks to where could we go from here and is there a convening role for us to play. Now there, of course, are groups that are-- so there's the Council of State governments, which brings together the state legislators. They're a national organization but they have different conferences, including a conference for the Northeast. I think it's the Northeast and Midwest actually, but bring state legislators together. And so there's some of these forms already. And some of them we could say, how do we lend our support to those. And then we also could look and say, now where are some gaps that we can help to fill.
[00:23:32:07] I think that's right. There was clearly that sort of feeling of, and I think we heard it from a couple of other members of state legislatures who were there, how do we get talking more across state and provincial lines.
[00:23:43:07] KURT NEWTON: Maybe it's a sort of catalytic role that MIT could play, to start the fires, get the things going in conversations and relationships, to the point where they're self-sustaining.
[00:23:53:07] TOM KILEY: I think that's right. So it's a catalytic role. You know, and how do we bring in partners who can work with us on this on a sustained basis at other institutions, at NGOs in the region, that kind of thing, which obviously, there's a lot of that happening already. And so it's partly, again, just sort of a matter of figuring out well where are there some gaps that, you know,
[00:24:11:10] RAJESH: It's time for my second devil's advocate question.
[00:24:13:28] TOM KILEY: Oh boy.
[00:24:15:01] KURT NEWTON: You just can't resist.
[00:24:16:21] RAJESH: No. Because I feel like everybody's dream is to create a self organizing system that just runs. You've turned on the switch and you don't need to do anything. But it invariably takes an enormous amount of work. And so I feel at some level, you Tom and MIT more generally, there's a great responsibility to make sure that the conversation is on an upward trend from now on. Right?
[00:24:45:02] TOM KILEY: That's right. I mean this is the kind of stuff that it's constant care and feeding. Right?
[00:24:48:14] RAJESH: Yes.
[00:24:48:28] TOM KILEY: To be able to avoid the experience of, boy we had some interesting people in a room together for a couple of days, having really great conversations. And then everybody left and that was the end of it. And so--
[00:24:59:20] RAJESH: Yes.
[00:25:00:03] TOM KILEY: And, you know, to go back, I think again, to the Georgetown Climate Center, they're a great example of this. It's, you know, it's putting in the hard work year in and year out of building relationships and building trust, of getting results. So yes, I think you can't expect these things to sort of take on a life of their own. It's constant, you know, constant work. And that's fine. Right? That's not a bad thing.
[00:25:21:05] KURT NEWTON: Tom's got a job.
[00:25:23:25] RAJESH: Right. So what might be some next steps that are in the very near future?
[00:25:29:05] TOM KILEY: Well, I think obviously what we want to do is go back to attendee's, and we started to do a little bit of this at the end on Friday, where we started to get some feedback from people about what they thought worked, what they thought didn't work, you know, what would they want to cover next time. There's some obvious things, like there's just topics we just didn't have time to get to. Obviously, buildings and thermal energy is a really important topic in the region. And we covered it across panels. But there's lots more conversation to be had there.
[00:25:56:16] I think you could take any one of those panels and turn it into two days of conversation. And certainly, I felt that way, particularly about the nature based solutions. Because we were-- I mean, it was sort of like wetting your appetite. And there's so much more you could talk about. I thought the blue carbon discussion was fascinating. It was great to hear from Dorin Cox and Derek Lynch about agriculture, and from Commissioner Snyder from Vermont about forests. And so, you know, each of those is, you know, really ripe territory for more discussion.
[00:26:28:20] So you can easily see are there, you know, do we do smaller scale workshops and that kind of thing. Do we have another summit again in a year's time. So there's--
[00:26:38:29] RAJESH: Yes to both.
[00:26:40:24] TOM KILEY: So there's options. There's opportunities. But I think the first step is to go back to everyone and really ask for their feedback and what would be most useful to them. For researchers, what would be most useful to them as they think about some of their research priorities. And for policymakers, what would they like to see as they continue to grapple with some of these really tricky challenges.
[00:26:59:27] DAVE TAMLOR: And I think there is a match making function for MIT and similar institutions in bringing those folks together.
[00:27:06:03] TOM KILEY: That's right.
[00:27:06:16] DAVE TAMLOR: So I've got a-- I'm a policy person over here. And I've got a real need for a rigorous, data based analysis of fill in the blank. And I'm a researcher at MIT and I have grad students that would love to sink their teeth into just that thing.
[00:27:20:00] TOM KILEY: Yes. That's exactly right.
[00:27:21:15] KURT NEWTON: Are you aware of anybody else in North America who's doing these kind of regional summit collaborations?
[00:27:27:03] TOM KILEY: So that's a good question. We looked around a little bit to see is there anything, you know, quite like this. And couldn't find sort of an exact corollary. But there are certainly, I think, institutions around the country, in California--
[00:27:40:05] RAJESH: That's what I was thinking.
[00:27:41:23] DAVE TAMLOR: A region in itself.
[00:27:42:25] TOM KILEY: Exactly. That are interested in this kind of thing. And beyond that, there's a lot of, I mean you know, I was in Bonn for COP 23, my first time at a COP, which was an interesting experience. And obviously, there's a significant interest now in sub-national action. And so I think 2018 might be the year of the sub-national climate action summit. Right? There will be I believe the one that Governor Brown announced in the fall next year. Here in Boston, mayor Walsh has announced a city's climate summit. So this focus on city and state action, there's going to be, I think, quite a bit of it.
[00:28:17:09] KURT NEWTON: Huge.
[00:28:18:08] TOM KILEY: Yes. Exactly.
[00:28:19:07] RAJESH: You mean yuge?
[00:28:20:09] KURT NEWTON: Yuge. Get my New York accent properly.
[00:28:25:21] RAJESH: I feel like we could just keep talking forever on this but what would success look for you, say six months from now and a year from now?
[00:28:36:28] TOM KILEY: So I think if we heard from attendees of examples where they said, you know, I was thinking about a challenge and I made a connection there. And I heard something I hadn't heard before. And I was able to use that to help, you know, make real progress. Right?
[00:28:54:21] DAVE TAMLOR: Impact.
[00:28:55:13] TOM KILEY: Yeah. Exactly. You know, now that's a hard thing to measure. Because that's going to be a function of lots of different things and not just a meeting, right, not just the conference. But if we feel like even just sort of anecdotally, qualitatively, that there's some evidence there that, you know, that this led to some of those positive outcomes, practical outcomes, policy or otherwise, that would be great. You know, and I think if there's real demonstrated interest in continuing this conversation. You know, if we see people say, we need more of this. Then I think we'll, you know, certainly I'll feel like this was a good place to go. So--
[00:29:32:21] RAJESH: I mean one thing that I took away was many participants mentioned how towns, so forget the region, even in Massachusetts, towns such as Boston and Somerville and Cambridge, have capacities and capabilities that the smaller towns don't have, you know, in Everette or Malden. So if there is a way for an institution like MIT, or a consortium, to route that expertise, right, I think that that would be fantastic, to enable that. So it's not even regional. It is local.
[00:30:08:09] TOM KILEY: Right. Right.
[00:30:09:11] RAJESH: But I feel like there are many, many conversations that could happen within 20 miles of here that, I think, this summit could potentially catalyze.
[00:30:19:29] TOM KILEY: That's right. You know, and again, we had this sort of larger focus on state and provincial policy. You know, in part because we know about the plans for 2018 with the city summit in Boston. But it goes back to sort of what I was saying a little while ago about all these different actors, all these different sectors that are involved. And, you know, so there's lots of other places where I think we potentially have a role to play.
[00:30:41:08] DAVE TAMLOR: Also I was thinking there's a kind of multiplier effect too because the folks who are at the summit that you organized have colleagues back home. And then there are other folks from other states and provinces that weren't represented. So I think they were the sort of tip of the iceberg in effect. So there are a lot of ways to leverage the folks who are at the summit to reach a greater audience.
[00:31:04:29] TOM KILEY: That's right. No and by the way, thank you for saying that. Because the other thing I wanted to say is thank you to the Climate X team for helping to extend the reach of this. Right? I mean, you know, you can only get so many people in a room. But if you can engage people other ways, including digitally, in this conversation that's, you know, that's really valuable.
[00:31:23:07] So and that would not have happened without all of you. So thank you.
[00:31:27:20] KURT NEWTON: It's an honor.
[00:31:28:07] DAVE TAMLOR: You're welcome.
[00:31:29:03] RAJESH: We are patting ourselves on the back.
[00:31:30:23] KURT NEWTON: Virtually.
[00:31:32:06] DAVE TAMLOR: I think I can say the summit just scratched the surface of this deep topic. And our podcast has--
[00:31:39:27] RAJESH: One more scratch. Yeah.
[00:31:42:27] TOM KILEY: So we've got our work cut out for us.
[00:31:43:29] RAJESH: Yes. Exactly. But, you know, if you, our listeners, have any thoughts on this topic I think you should feel more than free to share that with us on Twitter, on Facebook, on our email, firstname.lastname@example.org. And we'll make sure that we pass on that feedback to Tom and others at MIT.
[00:32:02:11] KURT NEWTON: On the web site, the MIT climate summit link on our Climate X site has a ton of resources, including videos of pretty much every session and slide presentations from some of the short presentations and a nice collection of podcast previews from some of the panel moderators. So we've been referring to a lot of what went on throughout this episode. And you can find all the source material, all the details through those resources on the Climate X site.
[00:32:31:28] DAVE TAMLOR: So hope you can check out those resources and leave your comments right below.
[00:32:36:05] RAJESH: Thank you for joining us, Tom.
[00:32:37:08] TOM KILEY: Thank you for having me.