As hundreds took to the streets and water in Boston, communities across U.S. demand Mayors go Fossil Free ahead of September’s Global Climate Action Summit
Photo credit: Kristine Jelstrup, Twitter
Boston, MA — On Friday morning, over 250 Bostonians rallied at the annual gathering of the US Conference of Mayors urging Mayor Marty Walsh and all US Mayors to “Walk the Talk on Climate.” In coordination with national and global fossil free demands, organizers are demanding officials at all levels commit to a fast, just and equitable transition to (1) 100% renewables for all; (2) no new fossil fuel projects; and (3) not a penny more for fossil fuels.
“A year after Trump announced his intent to pull out of the Paris Agreement, climate action is rising from the ground-up,” said Thanu Yakupitiyage, 350.org US Communications Manager. “The impacts of climate inaction are paid for in the lives and livelihoods of our communities, especially communities of color and the poor who bear the brunt of fossil fuel billionaire’s destruction. From Boston and Salt Lake to New York and San Francisco, and Denver and New Orleans, communities are raising the bar for real climate leadership.”
Photo credit: Taylor Billings
“Our cities on the frontlines of flood surges, storms and wildfires, so we need to be at the forefront of solutions to tackling climate injustice,” said Alan Palm, Director of Organizing with 350 Mass and the Better Future Project. “We need to stop new fossil fuel projects and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy and make sure it’s polluters — not our communities — who pay the costs of climate chaos.”
As the first evening of the U.S. Conference of Mayors wrapped, over a dozen kayaking activists, known as “Kayaktivists,” took to the Boston Harbor during a clambake to demand city leaders act on climate change and end their support for the natural gas industry.
Photo Credit: Jillian Riseman
Mayors are heeding the calls of activists across the country. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has doubled down on his commitment full fossil fuel divestment of the City’s pension funds, as well as lawsuits against five major fossil fuel companies for damages. During the conference, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced a request for Mayors to formally “oppose the Trump administration’s efforts to overrule the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by requiring electric grid operators to purchase electricity generated by carbon-based fuels.”
As hundreds rallied in Boston, the climate justice movement announced Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice mobilizations this September around the California-based Global Climate Action Summit in coordination with a global day of action.
Next Tuesday, June 12, the Berkeley City Council is set to vote on two resolutions that would declare a Climate Emergency and move forward the Fossil Free demands to accelerate the city’s response to climate change. Next Wednesday, New Yorkers plan to pack the room at the first court hearing in New York City’s climate lawsuit against major oil companies for damages and theirits role in perpetuating climate destruction and damages.
“With three months until September’s Global Climate Action Summit, we can expect communities to put even more pressure on electeds,” said Yakupitiyage. “We’re rising up to demand action on climate, jobs, and justice because to build the fossil free world that works for all of us.”
Contact: Lindsay Meiman, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (347) 460-9082
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
The US Mayors Walk the Talk rally was organized by a dozen community-based and state-wide organizations including: Boston Climate Action Network, Massachusetts Sierra Club, 350 Mass, Mothers Out Front, Conservation Law Foundation, Sunrise Movement, Youth on Board, Elders Climate Action Network, We Are Boston’s Waterfront, and the Boston Clean Energy Coalition. For more, visit: https://gofossilfree.org/usa/uscom2018/
Tens of thousands of people will take part in the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice mobilization in San Francisco and across the country, as part of a global day of action on a September 8. These actions will drive climate action within our communities and send a clear message to governments about what the will of the people really is ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS). For more, visit: riseforclimate.org, gofossilfree.org