FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2017
Contact: Micah Parkin, 504-258-1247, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Act on Climate” Rallies Across Colorado Call on Governor Hickenlooper to Sign Onto U.S. Climate Alliance
With Trump Withdrawing U.S from Paris Climate Agreement, Communities Join Nationwide Day of Action to Celebrate Strong Local Commitments and Call on Governor to Take Bold Climate Action
Denver, CO –– On Saturday, June 10th, residents of several cities across Colorado joined a nationwide day of action on climate to call on their city and state leaders to stand by the Paris Agreement despite the Trump Administration’s decision to remove the U.S.. The “Act on Climate” rallies took place at City Halls and State Capitols across the country, encouraging public officials who are already taking climate action seriously, and pushing those who aren’t, to step up for meaningful climate action.
“People here in Colorado and around the world are already experiencing increasingly devastating effects from climate change – like extreme floods, wildfires, heat, drought, storms and sea level rise,” said Micah Parkin of 350 Colorado. “Inaction in the face of such overwhelming scientific consensus and evidence is criminal and immoral. So today we are honoring leaders who are committing to do our part to reduce emissions and are calling on Governor Hickenlooper to make tangible his statements about taking climate change seriously by joining with 12 other states whose governors have joined the U.S. Climate Alliance.”
The Act on Climate events took place a week after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S would exit the Paris Climate Agreement. Organizers and participants say his decision was immoral, economically counterproductive and politically foolish – putting fossil fuel industry profits before people and our planet.
“We cannot afford to disregard the health and well-being of future generations and the overwhelming evidence that humans are the leading contributors to climate change,” said U.S. Congressman Jared Polis. “I am alongside you and the many companies, states and local governments that have already begun to fill the void left by this administration’s actions, leading the way on clean energy initiatives and reducing our carbon footprint. Taking the right action now will save lives, create jobs and boost our communities’ competitiveness.”
Hundreds of people gathered in City Park in Boulder, Union Station in Denver, the Farmers Market in Ft. Collins and in front City Hall in Pueblo to urge Governor Hickenlooper and local officials to stand by the majority of Americans who want to see climate action and stand by the Paris Climate Agreement. Denver and Boulder participants celebrated their mayors’ commitments to the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, which asserts their pledge to lower emissions at the local level.
“Now, more than ever, we must lead at the local level to tackle climate change. No less than the future of our communities and our planet is at stake,” said Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones, who spoke at the Boulder rally. “The City of Boulder will continue to work with cities throughout Colorado and the nation to reach our Climate Commitment goals to significantly reduce our emissions and embrace a clean energy future.”
274 cities have signed onto the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda so far, including 10 Colorado cities – Denver, Ft. Collins, Boulder, Longmont, Lakewood, Lafayette, Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, and Telluride. Participants called on their elected officials to take the necessary steps to deliver on the goals of Paris, including moving to 100% renewable energy, stopping new fossil fuel projects, divesting city funds from coal, oil and gas companies, and more.
“The city of Boulder is working in every possible area to innovate, coordinate, collaborate and otherwise support this transition—from household level roadmaps to 100% renewable energy to a community owned and controlled energy utility,” said Brett KenCairn, Senior Environmental Planner for the City of Boulder. “We look forward to working with every individual, organization and institution that is genuinely committed to rapidly bringing this future into the present.”
Volunteers collected petition signatures, in person and online, calling on Governor Hickenlooper to sign the U.S. Climate Alliance. 12 states and Puerto Rico have become members of the U.S. Climate Alliance and remain committed to achieving existing CO2 emission reduction goals. Officials from 10 states, including Colorado, and the District of Columbia have pledged to follow the Paris Agreement, but have not formally joined the Alliance.
“In times like these silence is violence when it comes to climate change,” said Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, youth leader of Earth Guardians, who spoke at the Boulder rally. “If Hickelooper takes no action on Paris, he is showing us that he is on the side of Donald Trump and the fossil fuel billionaires.”
Martinez is one of six youth plaintiffs in the recent Martinez v. COGCC decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals siding with the youth that the COGCC has been misinterpreting its mission and must consider the health and safety impacts of fracking as a precondition to permitting the industrial activity. Methane (natural gas) leakage from oil and gas fracking operations are contributing significantly to Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions and are placing Coloradan’s health and safety at risk, as evidenced by health impacts studies and the methane explosion under the Martinez home in Firestone, CO, that killed 2 men and seriously injured a mother in April.
“The Denver #ActOnClimate event was organized by volunteers whose top priority is climate action due to our serious concerns about its impacts on human health and safety, the security of our food supply, social justice for communities worldwide, and the future of our wildlife and wild lands,” said 350 Denver volunteer Miranda Glasbergen. “Our passions vary, but our focus unites us, and we call on Governor Hickenlooper and leaders statewide to stand with us for bold climate solutions now.”
Photos after the actions will be posted at https://www.facebook.com/350Colorado/
For more information about the specific actions nationwide click here.