Weather is supposed to be sunny, mid-40s. Volunteers still needed.
Capital District climate, community and faith groups are organizing a rally and march in Albany on Saturday, November 6 as part of the COP26-focused Global Day of Action for Climate Justice.
The rally and march will start at 11 AM at the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center, 153 Grand St, Albany. The march will conclude with a rally at the federal O’Brien Building at 12:30 PM at Clinton and Pearl Sts. Hundreds of similar climate events will take place that day worldwide, with large rallies planned for Glasgow and London. The Radix Center will hold an open house starting at 10:30 PM and will serve as the rally site in case of rain.
The rally is starting in the South End to highlight the need to ensure that climate funding targets the communities and countries that are the principal victims of the burning of fossil fuels. For example, the state’s $200 million investment in offshore wind tower manufacturing at the Port of Albany must ensure green economic development in the adjacent South End, including good jobs for residents and clean energy upgrades and other improvements to housing. The March will also focus on the need for racial justice, stopping the financing of fossil fuels and moving the state Capitol complex to 100% clean renewable energy.
In early November, the world’s governments will gather in Glasgow for COP26 the five-year update, to the Paris climate accords. Many are calling it the “last chance COP”. The IPCC and the United Nations have been issuing increasingly dire warnings that the world is barreling to climate collapse. The pledges made by governments since Paris fall far short of keeping global warming below the target level of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Climate change is already happening and getting worse, as extreme weather events become more frequent with massive hurricanes, flooding, drought, wildfires, and heatwaves. (see GELF Op-ed in Times Union.)
The rally is calling for Mandatory Emissions Cuts; Climate Debt Reparations for developing countries; Climate Jobs; and a Just Transition.
Speakers will include Mark Dunlea, PAUSE; Mert Simpson, SHARE; Scott Kellog, RadixCenter; Theresa Rodriquez, AVillage; Pippa Bartolotti and Mary Finneran, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace; Howie Hawkins and Peter LaVenia, Green Party; Rev. Peter Cook, NYS Council of Churches; Center for Law and Justice; Doug Bullock, Capital District Solidarity Committee; Rev. Heather Kirk-Davidoff, Westminster Presbyterian Church; Mark Schaeffer, DSA; and Samanta Engelmyer, Progressive Schenectady.
Sponsoring groups include PAUSE (People of Albany United for Safe Energy), Green Education and Legal Fund, Extinction Rebellion Capital District, Upper Hudson Green Party, Radix Center, Green Sanctuary Committee of Unitarian Universal Church, Albany Women Against War, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, AVillage, Save the Pine Bush, Center for Law and Justice, 350NYC, Food and Water Watch, Citizen Action Capital District, Troy Area Labor Council, New York Youth Climate Leaders, NYPIRG, The Climate Reality Project (Capital Region, NY Chapter), Solidarity Committee Capital District, North Country Earth Action, Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline (SNYFGP), Community Advocates for a Sustainable Environment, South Asian Fund For Education Scholarship and Training Inc ( SAFEST), Bronx Climate Justice North, North Bronx Racial Justice, Park Church.
The groups’ demands are:
- Mandatory Emissions Cuts — The US must commit itself and push other industrial nations to binding emissions cuts sufficient to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
- Climate Debt Reparations — The US must pledge at least $800 billion this decade to helping low-income nations mitigate damages from global warming and build their own clean energy economies.
- Climate Jobs — The US must create millions of good jobs building a 100% clean energy economy.
- Just Transition — The US climate program must provide good jobs to workers displaced by the transition and must ensure that disadvantaged communities get the good jobs and the improved housing, mass transit, and toxic waste clean-up they need.