Skip to main content


Applications open now to be trained in Iowa by former Vice President Al Gore and other experts to become a Climate Reality Leader.


Washington, DC (4/6/15) – The Climate Reality Project announced that the 28th Climate Reality Leadership Corps training will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, May 5-7. This is the first of three North American trainings to be held in 2015, with others to follow in Toronto and Miami. The application period for the Iowa training is now open, and we will be accepting applications until April.

Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, will lead the Iowa training for hundreds of new Climate Reality Leaders to not only advocate for renewable energy and agricultural solutions to the climate crisis, but also to help them organize in their own backyards to keep climate change a priority. This year is an important one, both for climate action in December at COP21 and in the lead-up to a U.S. presidential election. As the first caucus state, Iowa holds unique significance in determining the pressing issues that candidates and our country focus on over the next eighteen months. Joining Vice President Gore will be an impressive list of world-class scientists, strategists, communicators, and technical specialists discussing the science of climate change, the direct cost climate impacts are having on communities around the world and solutions available to solve the climate crisis.

In Iowa, the program will also include: 

  • Ken Berlin, President and Chief Executive Officer for The Climate Reality Project 
  • Mike Haas, Founder of Orion Renewables and the Alliance for Climate Education
  • Warren McKenna, Manager of Farmers Electric Co-op
  • Larry Schweiger, Former President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Wildlife Federation 
  • The Truman National Security Project (Representative TBD)

“Our goal for 2015 is to build the political will necessary for significant action at COP21 in Paris in December,” said Al Gore, Chairman and Founder of The Climate Reality Project. “To achieve that goal, Americans must unite to call for climate action. It is my hope that by hosting a Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Iowa, we can bring together passionate leaders — Democrats, Republicans and Independents -- to demonstrate that Americans want climate action now.”

The intensive program is designed to formally train a new group of community, government and business leaders to become Climate Reality Leaders, who then become change agents in their own communities. They will emerge from the program as energized and skilled communicators with the knowledge, tools and drive to educate diverse communities on the costs of carbon pollution and what can be done to solve the climate crisis.

Thus far, The Climate Reality Project has trained more than 7,500 Climate Reality Leaders from 125 countries, including recent trainings held in New Delhi, Istanbul, Chicago, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro and Melbourne.

As the agricultural center of the U.S., Iowa is particularly susceptible to the increasing threats of weather extremes like heat waves, drought and flooding. It is estimated that as a result of a changing climate, about 85% of the state’s counties now face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century. In addition to the significant agricultural impacts, climate change also brings with it serious health consequences. The NRDC estimates that 67,100 children and 175,800 adults in Iowa suffer from asthma, a condition that will worsen with poor air quality caused by climate change.

The training in Iowa will highlight the need for solutions and resilience strategies that address important realities and needs in Iowa as well as focus on Iowa’s unique position to fight the climate crisis. In addition to the state’s political relevance, Iowa also has a strong history of supporting renewable energy; in fact, wind energy in Iowa can power over 1 million homes.

Bringing together climate voices in Iowa has the potential to shape national policy and have a global impact. 

To apply, visit