MISSOULA, MT – Montanans will mark the 46th Earth Day in Missoula by celebrating the expected signing of the Paris Accord on climate change, endorsed by 195 countries in December. Supporters of the goal to address climate change – including reducing carbon pollution emissions – say that acting on climate change is an opportunity to protect the quality of the air they breathe, public health, wildlife, agriculture and outdoor recreation.
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan Rule is the framework that would bring the United States into line with the carbon emission goals set forth in the Paris Accord. Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are a global issue, and Montana and communities across the state, including Missoula, can play a big part,” said Missoula City Councilor Heidi West. “As a member of Missoula’s City Council, I am proud that our city supported the Clean Power Plan. I have no doubt that Montana citizens are capable of meeting the challenge, taking charge and creating a viable diversified energy future.”
Last month, Missoula joined the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and 54 cities, counties and mayors in filing a ‘friend of the court’ brief backing supporters of the Clean Power Plan, a federal plan to lower carbon pollution from power plants. That plan is being challenged in court and is the subject of a June 2 hearing before the D. C. Circuit Court.
The Paris Accord is a landmark agreement signed by 195 nations in December that will, for the first time, commit each of those countries, including the United States, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to help avoid the increasing impacts of climate change. A signing ceremony is planned for Earth Day at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Missoula has been very active in addressing issues surrounding climate change, including creating emission reduction goals for city operations, energy conservation and climate action. Weiss says that kind of leadership can happen in other cities as well, and needs to happen at the state level, too.
“Now, is the time to be a leader in developing renewable energy and energy savings and to take a stand in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions,” said West.
What: One world – Act on Climate!
Where: Caras Park, downtown Missoula
When: Friday, April 22, Noon to 1 pm
Speakers: Heidi West, Missoula City Council Member & Amy Cilimburg, Climate Smart Missoula
The Earth Day rally was cosponsored by Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund, MontPIRG, the National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Moms Clean Air Force, and Montana Mountain Mamas.