As the world waited to find out if President Donald Trump was truly going to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord, a voluntary agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020, activists gathered outside National Grid on Allens Avenue to express their opposition to climate change and the Trump agenda.
An announcement from Trump on the Paris Accords is expected today.
Organizer Timmons Roberts, Littleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University, helped to organize the Emergency protest and drew around 24 people. Passersby honked horns in support.
“We don’t know if he’s actually going to do it,” said Timmons Roberts about Trump “cancelling” the Paris Accords, “We’re waiting to hear. We think very well that he might. We’re here because we care enough to try to defend this important treaty…
“It depends on us, locally. What we do in our state, Rhode Island, Providence – whether we can actually meet our targets and exceed our targets for reducing emissions. We are determined, as Rhode ISlanders, to push our state to do more on climate change.”
“My name is Kate Schapira and I have no official standing of any sort but I do know that National Grid wants to build a liquid natural gas processing facility right here in the Port, right in the flood zone, as the sea levels rise, which they will… I am here today because I love the human and the nonhuman worlds. I love my state, I love my city. I want to see us do what is right…”
Dave Gerraughty, chair of Energize RI had a specific policy proposal in mind that needs help getting through the Rhode Island General Assembly. “We know how hard it’s going to be to reach the targets of our Resilient Rhode Island Act. It calls for bold, innovative action. And the boldest, most innovative action that’s on the table is our carbon pricing bill.”
H5369, the Energize RI Clean Energy Investment and Carbon Pricing Act of 2017, “places fees on every ton of carbon emissions produced by fossil fuels,” said Gerraughty, “It uses those revenues to start a clean energy fund that is going to invest in renewables and energy efficiency and also give rebates back to individuals and businesses in Rhode ISland so that they can deal with the effects of climate change.”
“We have essentially put the kleptocrats and plutocrats in charge,” said Greg Gerritt, a long time activist on the ecology/economy interface and RI Future contributor. “But one of the things they forget, is that when people go hungry, governments fall…”