EVANSVILLE — Elected officials and community leaders from across Indiana will visit Evansville this year for an annual leadership summit on climate change.

Earth Charter Indiana said the date for the Climate Leadership Summit is yet to be determined but that it will take place at the end of summer.

This will be the fifth year for the day-long series of workshops and speakers, and the second time it has been held outside of Indianapolis where Earth Charter Indiana is based.

Last year's summit was held in Goshen and had a record attendance for the event, said Assistant Director Shannon Anderson. Representatives from 21 cities attended.

The summit provides local officials and key community partners a chance to talk about how to prepare for climate change and implement strategies to mitigate its effects. The event is free and completely funded by sponsors, Anderson said. This year's workshops are still being planned.

"We really try to give city, mayors and county officials resources they can use in their daily lives to deal with climate issues," Anderson said.

Past summits have included workshops by Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute, which works to help Indiana businesses and communities adapt to the projected changes attributed to climate change in the coming decades.

Anderson said another workshop last year was about the Sustainable Development Code website, which compiles best practices for environmentally conscious, economically secure and socially equitable community development.

An ongoing series of studies by the Purdue Climate Change Research Center at Purdue University has been outlining how climate change is already affecting Indiana and how it will impact the state's infrastructure, economy, agriculture, environment and climate.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said he is excited for the city to host the conference as community leaders around the state seek to understand the growing importance of learning more about changing climate.

"I am confident that we have the facilities and resources available to accommodate a first-rate conference that will advance the goals and objectives of Earth Charter Indiana," he said.

Winnecke said hosting the conference is only one of several environmentally-focused initiatives he expects to roll out throughout the year, including building on the city's recent greenhouse gas inventory.

"We see there is opportunity to make greater strides, and that is what we are trying to do," he said.

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