Media Advisory: 9/23 — Climate Action Rally in DC
Media Advisory for September 23, 2014
*** Media Advisory for September 23, 2014, 9:00 AM ***
“The Earth Can’t Wait!” DC Residents Call on DC Council to Increase Urgency Around Climate Change
(Washington, DC) On the heels of Sunday’s People’s Climate March in NYC — the world’s largest mobilization in history to demand international action on climate change — DC residents will hold a climate action rally on the morning of Tuesday, September 23 to push for local climate action. While the clock ticks down on this year’s legislative session, residents call on the Council of the District of Columbia to pass two critical bills before they expire in December: the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act of 2013 and the Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS) Standard Amendment Act of 2013.
WHO: DC residents and climate action advocates
WHAT: Climate action rally
WHEN: 9:00 AM, September 23
WHERE: John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania NW, Washington, DC 20004
The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act of 2013 would withdraw about $30 million of DC’s retirement investments in the globe’s biggest polluters. It will also stigmatize fossil fuel companies for the runaway carbon emissions they fuel with their products, while protecting retirees’ funds from the growing financial uncertainty around coal, oil and gas stocks. The legislation would direct the DC Retirement Board and the District’s Chief Financial Officer to remove holdings in the 200 publicly traded companies with the greatest reserves of fossil fuels from DC’s Retirement Funds and the Health Annuity Trust.
The Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS) Standard Amendment Act of 2013 would close a major loophole in the current RPS, which actually incentivizes out-of-state paper mills’ burning of two toxic fuels. Specifically, the bill would eliminate “black liquor” and biomass from the list of energy sources eligible for the most valuable credits under the law. The amendment will spur clean energy employment, help protect residents from toxic fumes, and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
“Tackling a problem as large and urgent as climate change requires bold action across all levels, from international to individual — and that includes action by local government. DC must do its part to protect our health and our future,” said Elise Shulman of the community group DC Divest.
Since the bills were introduced in 2013 by Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilmember Mary Cheh, respectively, the DC Council has not advanced either. If not passed by the end of the current DC Council’s session in December, they will need to be reintroduced by the new Council in a time-intensive process that supporters say dismisses the urgency of global warming.
The climate action rally will be held in front of the Wilson Building at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, September 23, the Council’s first day back from summer recess. It is hosted by a coalition of local, national and international advocacy groups including DC Divest, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, DC Environmental Network, 350 DC, Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light (MD.DC.NoVA), Global Green USA, Green Cross International, Center for Biological Diversity, Moms Clean Air Force – Washington, DC, Friends of the Earth U.S., and the Sierra Club, Washington DC Chapter.
Interested attendees may RSVP at http://bit.ly/DCClimateRally.