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Homework: Testify to support Act On Climate 2021

Planet Earth needs your helps in passing Act on Climate 2021. Here’s how you can help.

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State Representatives Carson, Cortvriend, Blazejewski, Kazarian, Ruggiero, Donovan, Speakman, Knight, McEntee and Alzate earlier this introduced Act on Climate 2021 – H5445 – and the bill is having a hearing in the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee on Friday, February 26th starting at 3pm.

Upon passage the bill would establish a statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction mandate. It gives the 2014 Resilient Rhode Island Act teeth to actually start reducing emissions.

Environmental groups such as CLF, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Climate Action Rhode Island, ECRI and more have chosen this bill as their number one legislative priority this session.

The 2021 Act On Climate bill updates the Resilient Rhode Island Act in several critical ways:

  • Science: Updates our climate targets in accordance with the latest science regarding what is needed to avert climate disaster. It creates achievable targets every ten years, with a 45% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030; an 80% reduction by 2040; and a requirement of net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Transparency: Concrete plans to meet the emission reductions targets will be issued by the EC4 every five years. There will be public comment on the plans, and the plans will address the input provided to the EC4 by its advisory bodies. There will be public metrics and a dashboard, updated at least annually, to track emissions reductions and the sources of energy Rhode Island is using.
  • Equity: Plans will include an equitable transition for environmental justice populations and a process for environmental justice communities to provide input on the plans. Plans will identify support for workers in the transition as well as the development of programs to recruit, train, and retain women, people of color, Indigenous people, veterans, formerly incarcerated people, and people living with disabilities in jobs related to a clean energy economy.
  • Accountability: Makes the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions legally binding. If the state fails to follow the law, it can be enforced by a court order.

Here’s how to provide testimony: To speak in support of Act On Climate 2021, you need to sign up by Thursday, February 25th at 11am to get a phone call to testify at the virtual hearing. 

Send an email to HouseEnvironmentandNaturalResources@rilegislature.gov that includes:

  • Your Name
  • Your Phone # (they will use that # to call you on February 26)
  • The bill # – H5445
  • Your position:  Support
  • If you are representing an organization, include that too

The day of the hearing, you will get a phone call and likely be put on hold while the person ahead of you is speaking and then you’ll be alerted that it’s your turn to talk.

To provide written testimony, email it to HouseEnvironmentandNaturalResources@rilegislature.gov by February 26th at 1pm. In your email/written testimony, include at the top:

  • Your name; bill number H5445; and that you support the bill; along with an organization if you are representing one
  • Please note that testimony will be posted on the committee website

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Consider sending your emails to the individual members of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee as well. Just copy/paste these emails:

rep-bennett@rilegislature.gov, rep-phillips@rilegislature.gov, rep-obrien@rilegislature.gov, rep-carson@rilegislature.gov, rep-cortvriend@rilegislature.gov, rep-fenton-fung@rilegislature.gov, rep-fogarty@rilegislature.gov, rep-handy@rilegislature.gov, rep-knight@rilegislature.gov, rep-marszalkowski@rilegislature.gov, rep-mcentee@rilegislature.gov, rep-mclaughlin@rilegislature.gov, rep-morgan@rilegislature.gov, rep-ranglin-vassell@rilegislature.gov, rep-speakman@rilegislature.gov, Dbennett154@yahoo.com, Bobphillips56@Msn.Com, Williamobrien2012@gmail.com, laurenhcarson@gmail.com, terricortvriend@gmail.com, ba@allanfung.com, Kathleenafogarty@gmail.com, ArtBHandy@gmail.com, jason@jasonknightri.com, AlexDistrict52@gmail.com, Chm.Law@gmail.com, jmclaughlin64@cox.net, pmorgan14@cox.net, Marci5216@yahoo.com, june.speakman@gmail.com

Climate Action Rhode Island has an action alert going that sends emails to individual representatives and is creating a petition of supporters. Please feel free to share this link with your networks .

Here’s the CLF / Audubon Society of Rhode Island factsheet:

About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.

atomicsteve@gmail.com