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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


The Return of EarthX

After pivoting to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic, EarthX is returning as an in-person event from April 20 through 24 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, in downtown Dallas. Founded as Earth Day Dallas in 2011 by environmental activist and philanthropist Trammell Crow, EarthX has grown into one of the largest environmental experiences, bringing together environmental stewardship groups, businesses, scientists, academia, government organizations and speakers.

EarthX 2022 will be held indoors for the first time since its inception (previous events took place at Fair Park and the Arts District). While the number of exhibits will be scaled back, having the event in the heart of downtown will draw traffic from the business community. Crow says, “Since the beginning, we strive to attract all types of audiences.”

Those audiences include what some might consider unlikely players in the Earth-friendly arena such as oil and gas company representatives. “But they come and listen to our scientist presenters say, ‘If you’re going to frack, here’s how to do it better, with less environmental damage,’” Crow explains. 

The layout of the convention center will allow all conferences to be in close proximity and more convenient for attendees and presenters. Crow is excited that this year’s EarthX will welcome global thought leader-led summits structured around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), including the UNSDG Global Youth Summit and the UN Family Office for Sustainable Development.

Additional presentations and summits will cover topics such as the rainforests, oceans, farming and ranching, an E-Capital Summit designed to help young startups, and wildlife conservation, which includes input from hunting and fishing groups. The EarthX Latin America summit will bring Mexican and Latin American leaders together to present environmental solutions for climate change.

Ukrainian entrepreneur Daniel Tonkopiy, founder of Delfast electric bikes, will speak on War and the Environment. Mexican pop singer and environmental activist Jesús Emmanuel Arturo Acha Martinez, performing as Emmanuel, is scheduled to give a presentation.

EarthxFilm, a festival featuring environmental awareness films, programming and music, was traditionally held along with EarthX. This year, EarthxFilm takes place May 12 through 15 in the Dallas Arts District.

Environmental Ups and Downs in North Texas

The COVID-19 pandemic put a dent in smaller non-governmental organizations that work toward environmental stewardship, Crow observes, such as reduced revenue or having to shift toward less effective digital/virtual programming. During stay-at-home orders implemented in most states during the pandemic’s early months, there was a temporary reduction of carbon dioxide from people driving less. “But that was just temporary,” he notes. “Will we learn? Some people are reassessing how we work and live, so let’s hope and pray that they change their lifestyles. COVID has made some people slow down, while others went back to doing what they were doing.” He hopes the return of an in-person EarthX will bring these environmental issues back to the forefront of public consciousness.

Crow praises the city of Dallas for creating substantive climate initiatives. Recent accomplishments include The Dallas Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan that was unanimously approved by city leaders on May 27, 2020. This comprehensive plan serves as a roadmap to improve quality of life, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and plan for the impacts of climate change, while creating healthier and more prosperous communities throughout Dallas.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area is home to many Fortune 500 company headquarters. Some are making more green strides than others, Crow notes. In March, he spoke to a small audience at CERAWeek, an annual energy conference attended by many oil and gas interests. “They were very interested in the environmental measures for which we’re advocating.” The session in which he participated, Climate Advocates and the Energy Industry: Finding Common Ground, explored how climate activists and the energy industry can constructively engage and close gaps to reach common goals.

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