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The RE-AMP Network began in 2003, when the Garfield Foundation invited thirteen non-governmental organizations and seven foundations working on energy issues in the upper Midwest to examine long-term goals (i.e. what needs to be accomplished over the next 25 years) and the factors that will determine whether those goals are achieved. Through a professionally-led process, participants analyzed and mapped the region’s energy system, detailed the conditions and forces that encourage or discourage the development of clean energy, identified key interrelationships and potential intervention points, and evaluated the effectiveness of current clean energy advocacy in the region.

The participants not only identified a mutual long-term goal, but also developed a common understanding of the system they must influence to achieve that goal. This mutual understanding of the destination and the landscape ahead allows the creation of aligned strategies and metrics for tracking progress. Participants were then ready to implement mutually supporting strategies that took advantage of the best available opportunities to move the system toward positive change. RE-AMP identified four major drivers controlling the system that would determine the degree to which the regional energy sector shifts to clean energy. They were:

  • Benefits in retiring existing coal generation
  • Demand for new pulverized coal generation facilities
  • Market demand for clean energy
  • Achievable levels of energy efficiency

Today the Network has grown to over 130 nonprofits and foundations with distinct strengths and an array of approaches. We’re pioneering a new type of shared systems analysis, the Equitable Deep Decarbonization Framework which guides our work toward an equitably decarbonized Midwest. While some members focus on policy advocacy, others work in frontline communities or focus on building the political will necessary for climate action. Member organizations including Great Plains Institute, Joyce Foundation, Ohio Citizen Action, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Climate Generation, Michigan Energy Options, McKnight Foundation, Sierra Club, Center for Rural Affairs, and many others bring a diversity of perspectives that not only position the Network to build a broader and more effective climate movement in the Midwest, but also amplify Network members’ collective power and ability to achieve results.

The Network’s efforts to date have led to game-changing policy victories and coal plant closures, among other significant successes. In what has been described as the single most impactful accomplishment of the environmental movement, over 150 coal plant units have been slated for retirement. Additionally, six states have adopted or approved energy efficiency resource standards. Eight states are working to draft more energy efficient building codes. Five states have implemented rigorous renewable standards. Renewable energy options are expanding. And through the Global Warming Strategic Action Fund, the Network has regranted over $25 million to support strategic climate action in the Midwest.

History

The RE-AMP Network's motto is to Think Systemically and Act Collaboratively. It's been the hallmark of our Network's approach from the beginning.

The RE-AMP Network began in 2003, when the Garfield Foundation invited thirteen non-governmental organizations and seven foundations working on energy issues in the upper Midwest to examine long-term goals (i.e. what needs to be accomplished over the next 25 years) and the factors that will determine whether those goals are achieved. Through a professionally-led process, participants analyzed and mapped the region’s energy system, detailed the conditions and forces that encourage or discourage the development of clean energy, identified key interrelationships and potential intervention points, and evaluated the effectiveness of current clean energy advocacy in the region.

Synthesized version of the first systems map

The participants not only identified a mutual long-term goal, but also developed a common understanding of the system they must influence to achieve that goal. This mutual understanding of the destination and the landscape ahead allows the creation of aligned strategies and metrics for tracking progress.

Participants were then ready to implement mutually supporting strategies that took advantage of the best available opportunities to move the system toward positive change. RE-AMP identified four major drivers controlling the system that would determine the degree to which the regional energy sector shifts to clean energy. They were:

  • Benefits in retiring existing coal generation
  • Demand for new pulverized coal generation facilities
  • Market demand for clean energy
  • Achievable levels of energy efficiency

Beginning in January 2005, 30 carefully selected non-governmental organizations were organized into four planning teams and were provided with funding to examine each of these drivers in detail. This gave birth to some of the first forms of collaboration supported by the Network. Since 2005, RE-AMP has grown to over 130 member organizations, and has expanded into strategically-important issue areas, including transportation policy, federal climate policy, and engaging allies.

An Oral History of The RE-AMP Network in 2018 is a look back at what happened across the network this past year, told through the voices of the people who were there. Here, you will read excerpts from conversations with over 40 RE-AMP members and allies recounting the stories, impressions, and insights from their experiences.

Thanks for joining us to relive a year full of connecting, capacity-building, and collective strategy setting in The RE-AMP Network. 

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