Morristown, NJ - Community members gathered today at Morristown Town Hall for the Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice Event. Same day events were happening in Red Bank, Newark and Jersey City where citizens, elected officials and members of environmental, labor, civil and faith-based groups gathered for the People’s Climate Movement to Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice.
Organizers united to demand that government and business leaders accelerate the transition to renewable energy and reduce the pollution that contributes to climate change. They were supporting a just transition to a 100-percent clean energy future that reduces emissions, improves air and water quality, creates thousands of well-paying jobs and pays sustaining wages and benefits to workers with the right to unionize.
“Climate change is real and it’s happening right now. It’s threatening our communities, our country, and planet. This is one of the hottest years on record and we must make it hotter for our politicians who deny climate change or drag their feet on the issues. Some say the right things but need them to put their words into actions and we will light a fire under them to do it. We’re here united to push for immediate action to fight climate change and promote environmental justice and green jobs!” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We need to move our country, and our state, forward with clean technology and a green economy and it starts by coming together.”
Organizers stated that they are concerned with the full range of impacts of unmitigated anthropogenic climate change including threats to public health and safety.
“Climate and environmental justice become a civil rights issue, a mental and physical health issue for individuals with disabilities when their access to services, food, evacuation, medical resources, transportation, etc. is inadequate and does NOT meet their needs. Research that correlates the impact of Climate Change in these individuals health and accessibility after a disaster, that develops more inclusive infraestructures, that helps to improve the readiness of the first responders, their displacement, and the intersectionality with their level of income morally has to continue,” said María Santiago-Valentín, LDTC, OFA State Lead for Climate Change and Co-Lead of the 2018 NJ People’s Climate Movement.
“Climate change is not only about temperature increases or the measurements of the sea level, it is about our lives, health, and well-being of future generations, our species food security, natural habitats, and the safety of the most vulnerable populations. Now is the time to unite in support of a healthier and sustainable environment,” said Priscilla Garces, Organizing for Action.
Speakers and presenters addressed the full range of factors contributing to the growing national call for climate action, including economic gains to be made, jobs to be created and coastal communities to be protected, from positions of both national and local accountability.
"To change everything, we need everyone. Four years after the first People's Climate March in New York, there is a global movement to fight for climate action. In this age of Trump, we need to reignite climate activism on the local and state level and fight federal climate rollbacks. Our leaders need to listen to the science and this mass movement for climate action," said Doug O'Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey. "We need to stop digging the climate hole deeper by expanding fossil fuel infrastructure and put the building blocks in place to transition to a 100% clean, renewable energy over the next three decades."
Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice serves as a kick off event for longer-term work of voter education and registration activities,
“The election on November 6 is the most important election of our lives. It is so important that voters stand up for clean air, clean water, and green space, and elect lawmakers who will do the same. New Jersey LCV is proud of the work Governor Murphy and his administration have done, particularly in working towards their campaign promise to achieve 100% clean renewable energy by 2050 and making New Jersey an environmental leader once again. A greener economy in our state means good, local jobs and a healthy, thriving environment, but we still have work to do to protect the health of all New Jerseyans,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
“We need state leadership that will make clean air, access to energy efficiency and renewable energy, and protection from climate disasters a reality for our urban communities,” said GreenFaith’s Rev. Ronald Tuff. “Smart policies can create these outcomes while producing good, green jobs; funds to support these policies should come from the state’s Clean Energy Fund, which the administration has wrongly raided to pay for budget gaps. This needs to change.”
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