People's Climate Returns as Communities Converge for Actions Nationwide
Climate justice activists and community members are coming together throughout the country on Wednesday to demand urgent action from world leaders on the environment, workers rights, social justice, and other issues ahead of next month’s United Nations COP21 talks in Paris.
Actions are expected in more than 175 communities across 40 states as part of the National Day of Action on Climate, calling for an end to fossil fuels and investment in sustainable energy and justice for frontline communities.
In Washington, D.C., members of labor, environmental, justice, student, and faith groups held a die-in outside of the American Petroleum Institute (API) to demonstrate the human cost of the oil lobby’s push for controversial deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which critics say would devastate the climate by weakening environmental protection rules and expanding the fossil fuel trade.
“This isn’t just about carbon, it’s about justice,” said Anthony Torres, a campus organizer with Fossil Free AU and a COP21 youth delegate. “Institutions, like API, have profited off the destruction of ecosystems and communities across the world. We must divest from fossil fuels, transform our economies and our politics, and stand together on the streets to fight for a more just, inclusive, and sustainable future.”
Lisa Brown, executive vice president of the Maryland-D.C. healthcare workers chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), added, “Climate change public health impacts fall disproportionately on Maryland’s communities of color and poorest communities—where you live shouldn’t determine if you live.”
“Dirty air adds stress to heart and lungs and can lead to asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and health complications,” Brown continued. “We call on our leaders in the global trade and international climate negotiations to solve this public health crisis with cleaner air while creating good paying clean energy jobs.”
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