NEW CANAAN — Climate change is real and it’s happening.

That’s the message the United Nations Committee of New Canaan is trying to get through as it brings Vincent Brancato, an environmentalist with the Climate Reality Project, for a lecture at the New Canaan Library on Sunday.

“We’re interested in national and international issues, and there are none bigger right now than climate change,” Pete Runnette, co-chairman of the committee, said. “This is a challenge for our generation and those after and it’s hard to get that point across from a government standpoint.”

Brancato is one of 14,000 Climate Reality leaders worldwide and is a co-chairman of the Environmental Stewardship Committee of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, where he has been a trustee since 2012.

“We try to explain the results that humanity is feeling and how it’s endangering our way of life,” Brancato said. He referenced the droughts in Syria and last year’s hurricanes, such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, that severely affected the United States.

The lecture will take place Sunday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the library’s Lamb Room. Registration is required.

More Information

11th Anita Houston Memorial Lecture featuring Vincent Brancato

Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. in the Lamb Room at the New Canaan Library

The lecture will feature environmentalist Vincent Brancato from The Climate Reality Project

Register at:

Runnette believes the topic of climate change needs to be discussed, especially after the Trump administration pulled out from the Paris Climate Agreement last year.

“I think it’s very useful in view of the hesitancy of the United States government to address this topic. It’s an attempt to communicate to the town the importance of climate change and what it means to several generations ahead of ours. We want to empower individual citizens with enough knowledge to push the cause,” Runnette said.

The Climate Reality Project is an international nonprofit organization founded by former Vice President Al Gore in 2006. The organization seeks to engage in the discussion of climate change and its effects, which have already been felt across the world, according to Brancato.

“We hope that people get the message that this is a real problem and it will affect our children. This is not a political issue, it doesn’t matter what you are, this is a problem for humanity and we need to get people motivated and to take action and participate in the struggle against this,” Brancato said.

Brancato points out that the presentation this Sunday will be geared towards a New Canaan audience. “We’re telling people about actions they can take such as buying LED light bulbs and the benefits of wind farms and solar panels.”

The annual event is a homage to Anita Houston, a New Canaan resident and staunch advocate for the United Nations who was designated as the town’s “Ambassador for World Affairs” by the town in October 2002. Houston passed away in 2007 but the annual lecture keeps her legacy alive, said Runnette.

The program will include remarks from the New Canaan Library and the Houston family. A Q&A will follow Brancato’s lecture.