It’s been a big week for SEACC’s climate work. I want to start by thanking everyone who made it out to our Climate and Energy Community Forum on Tuesday, we had more than 40 attendees and a lot of interest from folks who couldn’t make it, so we’re sharing the recording here!
The key takeaway? Our legislature can do something about climate change and energy prices this year. The Renewable Energy Fund is the first place rural communities look towards to make the switch from dirty diesel to clean, affordable renewable energy, and the legislature has the opportunity to extend and expand the Fund before it expires in 2023. And the Green Bank could help finance investments in the renewable energy revolution, bringing millions of dollars of investment and federal matching funds to bear on Alaska’s growing renewable economy.
The legislature might not be organized yet, but it’s not too soon for us to get organized! You can help by signing our petition to the future Finance Committee members to support the Renewable Energy Fund and the Green Bank.
If that’s not enough climate action for you, yesterday Heather Evoy, SEACC’s Indigenous Engagement Lead, and our friends at Tongass Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (TWECAN), 350 Juneau, and Juneau Alaska Youth For Environmental Action (AYEA) hosted the Juneau COP27 Meetup at Overstreet Park/The Whale in Juneau with about 30 attendees.
“While these global leadership meetings take place in Egypt to address the climate crisis on a global scale it is extremely important for the voices and stories of Indigenous peoples and locals working on climate issues to be heard by the global decision makers,” Heather says of the event. “For Southeast Alaska, one way to do that is to be in the right relations with our tree relatives and work hard to keep healthy intact old-growth forests.” Heather also says she was glad to see the AYEA group come out en masse, with two members speaking on why protecting the Tongass is important for climate change and Southeast Alaska.
The Juneau meetup was held to bring attention to COP27 and Biden’s unmet promises on emissions reductions and forest protections. You already know the Tongass is one of the world’s best carbon forests, but Biden still hasn’t reinstated Roadless Rule protections or outlined new protections for the U.S.’s remaining old-growth forests.