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Advocates Rally in Missoula for Earth Day 2016

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Earth Day celebrations in Missoula are focused on renewable energy and the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change today in New York. (niserin/iStockphotos)
Earth Day celebrations in Missoula are focused on renewable energy and the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change today in New York. (niserin/iStockphotos)
 By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MT - Producer, Contact
April 22, 2016

MISSOULA, Mont. – Conservation advocates are holding a rally in Missoula today in honor of the 46th annual Earth Day.

They're celebrating the official signing today of the Paris Agreement on climate change at the U.N. in New York by about 150 countries, including the U.S. and China.

Missoula City Council member Heidi West, who will speak at the rally, says Montanans are ready to do their part to slow carbon emissions linked to global warming.

"Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are a global issue, but Montana communities across the state including Missoula can play a big part," she says.

Missoula's city council signed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which is tied up in litigation.

The plan is part of the White House's effort to fight climate change by clamping down on carbon emissions from electricity-generating facilities such as Colstrip.

At the rally, advocates also will gather signatures calling for increased use of renewable energy.

West says climate change already is impacting Montana with longer, hotter summers and more wildfires.

"Our glaciers are melting, which could impact our tourism industry,” she points out. “Our streams are getting warmer, which affects when and how people can fish."

The rally takes place from noon to 1 p.m. at Caras Park in downtown Missoula. It is co-sponsored by Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund, MontPIRG, the National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club, Moms Clean Air Force and Montana Mountain Mamas.


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