The Midwest Climate Summit will expand climate knowledge, accelerate climate action, and catalyze new partnerships that deepen expertise and develop a Midwestern response to the climate crisis.

Summit Vision

The Midwest Climate Collaborative.

With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, a group of over twenty leading Midwestern higher education institutions, non-profits, local governments, and businesses are partnering with the goal to develop a coordinated Midwestern response to the climate crisis. Through a two-part summit, taking place in Fall 2020 and Fall 2021, we will bring together leading Midwestern organizations from various sectors to drive measurable, regional action on climate change by leveraging the partnerships, innovations, and talent from each of these sectors.

The two-part Midwest Climate Summit will launch the Midwest Climate Collaborative: A collective movement to accelerate climate action in the Midwest by creating evidence, catalyzing action, informing public knowledge and public policy, and developing the future leaders needed to sustain and expand this work.

The first part of the Midwest Climate Summit will be a virtual series of events – the Think Tank. Taking place in Fall 2020, these events will build partnerships, expand engagement, and focus efforts for accelerating climate action in the Midwest.

The Fall 2020 series sets the stage for a high-profile Fall 2021 Summit where cross-sector organizations throughout the Midwest will reconvene to announce new tangible climate actions, expanded commitments, and new cross-sector partnerships. The Fall Think Tank will generate momentum and the Spring Summit will serve as a deadline for Midwest entities to return to the table with ratcheted ambition. The Midwest Climate Summit and the partnerships, action, and excitement it generates will lay a strong foundation for lasting, high-impact partnerships through the Midwest Climate Collaborative as we embark on a critical decade for climate action.

Event Details

More information about ‘New Federal Climate Strategy & Role of the Midwest’

For more information on the objectives guiding the Midwest Climate Collaborative, see the four areas below.

Science & Research
  • Synthesize what is already known about climate impacts and solutions in the Midwest.
  • Develop a climate research agenda focused on strategies that can inform and accelerate climate mitigation and adaptation in the Midwest in the next 10 years.
  • Build a network of climate researchers across the Midwest to facilitate research collaboration, research translation, and in so doing, enhance the profile of Midwestern climate experts.
Teaching & Education
  • Identify, understand and address community education needs around workforce development, continuing education, and capacity building.
  • Enhance climate-related curriculum that:
  1. equips all graduates with foundational understanding of climate change;
  2. equips a subset of graduates with the knowledge, skills and aptitudes to be effective climate practitioners, researchers and advocates.
  • Share best-practices for community-engaged courses that support climate action in local communities.
  • Develop a list of Fellowship programs available to student climate leaders who can support local climate action, science, and outreach.
Climate Action
  • Support organizations in adopting ambitious, science-informed targets for mitigation and adaptation strategies by outlining pathways and progress indicators to achieve such goals.
  • Identify and promote specific tangible strategies to accelerate climate solutions, including mitigation and adaptation, through organizational operations and strategic partnerships.
  • Empower Midwesterners to take tangible steps to respond to climate change and its impacts.

Outreach & Engagement
  • Communicate with the general public about climate impacts and solutions in the Midwest, including a focus on environmental journalism.
  • Highlight climate impacts on underrepresented and vulnerable populations throughout Midwest urban, suburban, rural, and indigenous communities.
  • Promote models for long-term, two-way collaboration between traditionally underrepresented populations and organizations with economic and social power.
  • Foster a non-partisan discussion with Midwest decision-makers about climate change impacts and solutions in the Midwest.

Summit Partners

A collaborative effort.

As the first step toward establishing the Midwest Climate Collaborative, it was important that the Midwest Climate Summit be developed collaboratively by a partnership of organizations from multiple sectors. The Summit steering committee includes 19 organizations representing higher education, local government, non-profits, and the private sector.