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Al Gore Honors Climate Reality Leaders Laura Faulk And Tom Hirasuna With Climate Reality’S Green Ring Award  


Washington D.C. (April 14, 2023) – Today, the founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, former US Vice President Al Gore, presented the Alfredo Sirkis Memorial Green Ring Award to Climate Reality Leaders and the co-leaders of the New York State Climate Reality Coalition Laura Faulk and Tom Hirasuna at the Power Up: From Acts To Action virtual training.   

The award honors Climate Reality Leaders who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to their roles as climate communicators and activists. Both trained at the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Atlanta in 2019, Tom and Laura have worked tirelessly with fellow chapter chairs to coordinate statewide advocacy efforts for the historic federal climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act, including organizing New York’s participation in The Climate Reality Project’s Our Climate Movement campaign. Laura and Tom have dedicated their work to advance climate action and strengthen their community network of climate advocates in the greater New York region and beyond.   

Tom is a retired engineer and food scientist. He became an active climate and sustainability advocate in Ithaca, New York where he has lived with his wife Jean Hunter since 1985. Tom is the founder and co-chair of the Climate Reality Project’s Finger Lakes Greater Region New York Chapter and sits on the Board of Directors for Tompkins County Cornell Cooperative Extension. He believes New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act serves as a model for other states as the climate emergency progresses. Tom believes that through the Ithaca Green New Deal, which sets ambitious climate goals towards climate justice and achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, the city is a model for other communities to follow.  

Laura started the Climate Reality’s Capital Region, New York chapter. She is the co-leader of the New York State Climate Reality Coalition and sits on the Board of Sustainable Saratoga as the chair of their Climate and Energy Committee. She was also appointed to Chair the Saratoga Springs Climate Smart Task Force last February. Laura is an active member of the Sheridan Hollow Alliance for Renewable Energy in Albany, the Environmental Action Team at her church, and the Albany Presbytery Peacemaking Task Force, which focuses on climate justice.  

“Tom and Laura embody what it means to be Climate Reality Leaders, and we are so excited to honor them with the Alfredo Sirkis Memorial Green Ring Award,” said Phyllis Cuttino, President and CEO of The Climate Reality Project. “Their tireless efforts and advocacy in New York have been critical to harnessing the power of the Inflation Reduction Act and building New York’s climate movement. Thanks to Tom and Laura, their communities have become models for combating climate change and ensuring the health and safety of future generations.”  

The Power Up: From Acts To Action virtual training gathered members of the Biden Administration, elected officials, and climate advocates from around the United States to help individuals, business owners, state and local policymakers, educators, and community leaders learn about the funding opportunities and other incentives available through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).   

For more information about the Climate Reality Leadership Corps program, and to learn how to participate in the next training, please visit:   


Founded by Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is working to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every sector of society. With a global movement more than 5 million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Reality Leader activists, it is spreading the truth about the climate crisis and building popular support for clean energy solutions. For more information, visit or follow Climate Reality on Twitter at @ClimateReality