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Marcene Mitchell's Vision for a Greener Tomorrow: Accelerating Renewable Energy with WWF's Green on Green Initiative

Amid the electrifying atmosphere at Climate Week NYC, Marcene Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Climate Change at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), unveiled the transformative potential of WWF’s Green on Green initiative.



With a focus on expediting the transition to renewable energy, Mitchell's message underscored the urgency of addressing climate change, the importance of responsible implementation, and the critical role of community engagement.



On September 19, Marcene Mitchell joined the We Don't Have Time Media Lounge from the Nest Climate Campus to shed light on WWF's initiative to combat climate change through renewable energy. Mitchell explained that the Green on Green initiative is a strategic move to transition from fossil fuels while prioritizing nature conservation and community benefits. She emphasized the concept of "green on green," which signifies the transition to green renewable energy while ensuring the well-being of green nature.
Marcene Mitchell at the Nest Climate Campus, highlighting WWF’s Green on Green initiative: “So what I call ‘green on green’”, Mitchell explains, is "green renewable, but making sure that green nature is taken care of as well."
Marcene Mitchell at the Nest Climate Campus, highlighting WWF’s Green on Green initiative: “So what I call ‘green on green’”, Mitchell explains, is "green renewable, but making sure that green nature is taken care of as well."


The Green on Green Initiative: Accelerating Strategically



A central goal of the Green on Green initiative is to speed up the transition to renewable energy. Mitchell stressed the pressing urgency to move away from fossil fuels, especially with the upcoming global stocktake for COP, which serves as a barometer for the Paris Agreement's goals. She remarked, "As you can suspect, we are not doing so well."
She posed a question critical to reversing this trend: "How do we double between now and the next seven years?" Currently, the United States relies on renewables for about 40% of its energy needs. Rapid and substantial progress is essential to meet the 2030 target of 80% renewable energy and the 2035 goal of 100%. “That's what the Green on Green is about. It's about accelerating that,” Mitchell emphasized.

Balancing Speed and Responsible Implementation



At the heart of the Green on Green initiative lies the commitment to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources while minimizing their adverse environmental effects and maximizing benefits for communities. Mitchell expressed, "What I call Green on Green is my way of saying that we need to accelerate green, but we need to also be careful and make sure we're not impacting nature and that we're bringing benefits to people."
Mitchell went on to stress the imperative of learning from the mistakes made during the fossil fuel era when implementing renewable energy projects. She cautioned, "There's always an impact whenever you're putting in infrastructure; whenever you're doing major changes, you're going to have some impacts. But the idea is that we need to make sure we're not making the same mistakes that we made in the fossil fuel era where we just extracted and used."
Responsible implementation that minimizes harm to nature while delivering tangible benefits to affected communities is paramount. Mitchell describes, “We can do this better. We can do it right. We can limit the impacts on nature. We can increase the benefits to the people and the communities that are affected. So that's what we hope to do.”

Community Engagement and Nature-Positive Projects



Community engagement, as articulated by Mitchell, is a cornerstone of success in renewable energy deployment. As she positioned it, "Renewable energy deployment is actually a local story, right? It's really at your state or your city or your county level that approves this deployment. And so it really is important that local groups and community members have a voice on it." Mitchell went on to say that it involves "reaching out to communities, getting them to understand that this could have some positive impacts for their lives that have their voices met, and not to do the same old thing that we've done in the past."
Mitchell encouraged a more streamlined approach in addressing the challenges of electricity grid connectivity and the sometimes tedious aspects of renewable energy implementation, such as permitting and zoning.
She pointed out, "The hard part about once we get to the implementation, it's really boring stuff, right? We're talking about permitting and spacing and zoning, but we have to start getting good at boring stuff." Mitchell highlighted that success in these less glamorous aspects is a sign of doing things effectively, but that there also exists the need for a more streamlined approach, saying, "No longer can we take 8, 10, 12 years to put up a facility. Not if we're going to reach our goals. But there's a way to do it. And I think if we work together, we can get there."
"We need to pull together. We need to talk to our communities and raise their voices. There's a great opportunity to engage the community and not only minimize the impact on nature, but you can be nature-positive." -  Marcene Mitchell
"We need to pull together. We need to talk to our communities and raise their voices. There's a great opportunity to engage the community and not only minimize the impact on nature, but you can be nature-positive." - Marcene Mitchell


A Brighter Future with Clean Energy



In a world where the alternative is a climate catastrophe driven by continued fossil fuel use, Marcene Mitchell's emphasis on clean energy and its benefits couldn't be more relevant. She passionately noted, "So many people, we don't recognize how many people die from air pollution, and that can be avoided with these new renewable technologies."
As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, the Green on Green initiative stands as a beacon of hope, offering a responsible and community-focused approach to accelerate the transition to renewable energy while safeguarding the natural world. Marcene Mitchell's insights serve as a call to action, reminding us that the time to act is now, and the path to a sustainable future lies in our collective efforts to embrace green energy solutions.
Watch the full interview by Marcene Mitchell at the Nest Climate Campus during Climate Week NYC here:


  • Sarah Chabane

    34 w

    It was great to hear from Marcene at NYC Climate Week! Right on point, we can't have a green transition without protecting biodiversity!

    10
    • walter lungayi

      34 w

      @sarah_chabane I strongly agree with you

      3
    • Rotich Kim

      34 w

      United with similar objectives

      1
      • MA Reen

        34 w

        Together as one with one purpose.

        12
        • Rashid Kamau

          34 w

          @ma_reen We must show meaningful purpose in the fight against climate change.

          1
        Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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