A small group of protestors from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds repeated their opposition to the proposed methane gas power plant in Burrillville. Simultaneous with this event, Governor Raimondo welcomed the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, José Maria Pereira Neves.
Among the protesters was Randall Rose of Occupy Providence, Dr. Peter Nightingale of the University of Rhode Island, independent film maker Robert Malin, and Green Party activist Greg Geritt. They were offering their protest in solidarity with fasting environmental activists in Washington DC who are staging their action simultaneous with the arrival of Pope Francis. The Catholic leader has made climate change a major focus is his recent encyclical, LAUDATO SI, and is expected to raise the issue during his visit to America and the United Nations this week. The Pope just recently visited Cuba, a country that converted to a sustainable energy power grid and green infrastructure after the fall of the Soviet Union collapsed their petroleum import markets in the early 1990’s.
During her opening remarks, Governor Raimondo emphasized the cultural and economic ties between Rhode Island and Cape Verde. Cape Verde has begun rolling out a sustainable energy program in the past several years, such as opening a solar panel energy park last month that Prime Minister Neves attended. The nation, made up of a chain of islands, stands to sustain extreme damage should the oceans rise significantly due to climate change’s melting of the polar ice caps. A significant portion of the population lives beside the ocean in housing whose foundations would be threatened by erosion. Some of the islands would be completely submerged. Beginning in 2011, the island began an expected nine year program to convert the power grid to renewable resources.
Protestors outside the room hosting the Prime Minister of Cape Verde.