The Climate Project (TCP), founded by Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore, will hold its North American Summit from Thursday to Saturday, entering Phase 2 of its environmental mission.

The new phase signals TCP’s transition from an organization that increases public awareness of global warming to one that fosters advocacy and activism. TCP wants to continue its educational efforts, while teaching people how to become politically active and help persuade elected officials and community leaders to confront urgent climate-change concerns.

The shift in priorities was partly inspired by December’s Copenhagen Treaty negotiations, where hundreds of international representatives will discuss the replacement of the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The Protocol set limits on greenhouse gas emissions for all participating countries, and those gathered in Copenhagen will work to establish options that further treaty goals.

TCP’s Summit, expected to draw 500 participants, will be held at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, Gore’s hometown. The 248-room hotel was chosen because it has made a commitment to sustainability and conservation, with energy-conscious lighting, bamboo furniture and flooring, low-energy elevators, card readers that automatically turn off lights when rooms are unoccupied, use of biodegradable cleaning products and a hybrid courtesy vehicle.

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