Groups Urge Climate Action on Fifth Anniversary of the Paris Agreement
Monday, December 14, 2020
DENVER -- Five years after the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, environmental activists in Colorado are urging the Biden administration to not only rejoin the agreement on Day One, but go beyond it.
In the past four years, the Trump administration has rolled back hundreds of environmental protections in addition to leaving the Paris Agreement. San Miguel County Commissioner Hilary Cooper said that hasn't stopped the Centennial State from taking urgent and bold action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, as Coloradans really feel the impacts of climate change.
"We've got increased wildfires. I don't think I have to talk about those in Colorado this year - everybody's seen those impacts," Cooper said. "We've got increased drought, our farmers, ranchers are being greatly impacted by less water, less precipitation and less production value from their lands."
Colorado is part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors from 25 states striving to fulfill the goals of the Paris Accords, regardless of whether the nation is technically part of it.
Ean Thomas Tafoya, field advocate with GreenLatinos, hopes President-elect Joe Biden will bring back methane regulations and reinstate clean-car and fuel-economy standards - as well as undo all the other Trump administration rollbacks that are disproportionately harming Black, Brown, Indigenous and low-income people.
"We want an investment in a clean economy, for good jobs and upgrades to our infrastructure," Tafoya said.
He said Colorado has a "just transition" plan that's out for review, outlining ways to help workers and communities invested in the oil, gas or coal industries through the transition period. It includes paths to more education, becoming entrepreneurs or relocating if necessary.
"What that means is we don't just up and leave an entire sector of employees out to dry," he said. "There's an opportunity here in Colorado. "
GreenLatinos and other environmental justice groups are committed to working at the national level and pushing the Biden administration forward, while also lifting up all of the local efforts to support communities on the front lines of the climate crisis.
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