Alder Darryl J. Brackeen Jr (New Haven) & Young Elected officials lead national effort to increase clean energy at Paris Climate Conference9 December 2015
Paris – 350 U.S. state and local elected officials from 46 states state launched a letter calling for 50 percent clean energy by 2030 and 100 percent clean energy by 2050 at the Paris Climate Conference.
Darryl Brackeen Jr, Alder of New Haven’s 26th Ward, joined the launch of the initiative, which was announced at the Paris Climate Conference. Other CT local joined Brackeen & state elected officials who signed onto this national effort, such State Representative Roland Lemar, State Representative James Albis, State Representative Matthew Lesser, Quentin Phipps, Middletown City Treasurer, Kevin Ryan, State Representative, CT, Caroline Simmons, State Representative, CT, Steven Stafstrom, State Representative.
The announcement focused on the success state and local governments are achieving in clean energy innovation and implementation.
Brackeen, incoming Young Elected Officials Network CT State Director, has championed local legislative initiatives such as the Clean Air & energy, in order to reduce our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million. As a result the city was prompted to revitalize the cities environmental advisory council to include more citizen participation to drive a clean energy sub-committee and more of a focus on how local government can do its part for a cleaner environment.
Brackeen said, “New Haven is on a clean energy, clean air, and green economy path, that is bringing benefits to human health, out air, water, and natural resources, but our work is not done.”
Recently, the New Haven Board of Alders unanimously voted to approve a $1 million grant to continue these efforts.
These young elected officials have partnered with other young elected officials across the nation. A number of current and former elected officials are organizing the initiative including former Maine State Representative Alex Cornell du Houx, former Caroline New York Councilmember and Deputy Town Supervisor Dominic Frongillo, and California East Bay Municipal Utility District Director Andy Katz.
“We organized this initiative to highlight the important work state and local governments are doing to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution, despite many in Congress’ complete lack of leadership to protect our families and communities,” said Cornell du Houx. “We need to protect our nation and the world from the real threats caused by climate change. A recent Pew study found ISIL or Daesh and climate change are seen as the top two global threats and the two are interlinked. As a former Marine and now naval officer, I have seen this link firsthand. Instability caused by extreme weather helps terrorists like Daesh recruit fighters – Syria suffered an unusually severe drought that helped trigger the conflict.”
“Political actions on climate change exists in every state and community. But it’s been drowned out by the millions of dollars dirty energy companies spend to sow doubt and denial,” said Frongillo. “The decades of deception are over: science is clear on the necessity to move off fossil fuels, and Exxon-Mobil is under investigation for misleading shareholders and the American people. We need elected officials to lead a fair and swift transition to 100% clean energy. The transition to renewables can create jobs and prosperous opportunities across the United States and the world. Now it’s time to lead.”
This year, the United States has hit many clean energy milestones. America has added more clean power than natural gas, with clean energy generation up 11 percent while natural gas generation declined. Demonstrating the opportunity, solar jobs grew 20 times faster than the rest of the economy.
“We want the rest of the world to know that the climate-denying, anti-science voices in Congress do not represent America,” said Nick Rathod, Executive Director of the State Innovation Exchange, who works with lawmakers across the nation. Innovations at the state level often drive our national policy forward and that is exactly what is happening in the fight against climate change. States are leading the way.”
The investment of New England Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) estimates a return of more than $2.9 billion in lifetime energy bill savings to more than 3.7 million participating households and 17,800 businesses. In California, a similar program generated $969 million in revenue for the state through the end of 2014, and is expected to generate $2 billion a year or more in the future.
The RGGI states have experienced over a 40 percent reduction in power sector carbon pollution since 2005, while the regional economy has grown eight percent. “This proves that we can reduce pollution that’s putting our communities’ health at risk while growing jobs and prosperity. From East Coast to West Coast – states and local communities are leading the way,” said Katz.
The initiative also supports the implementation of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, as it will bring the U.S. within seven percent of the stated goal. “We appreciate the administration’s leadership and commitment to working with state and local government,” said Cornell du Houx. “The launch of this letter is only the beginning. We will be working with state and local elected officials across America to ensure a healthier and safer future for our children. As leaders responsible for America’s present and future prosperity, we must take action now.”
To join the campaign follow Alder Darryl Brackeen Jr on Facebook and Twitter @dbrackeen. Join the conversation #50by30