ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – One year after the historic People’s Climate March, when 400,000 people crowded the streets of New York City, Tampa Bay residents will join communities around the country in the People’s Climate Movement as part of its 135-city National Day of Action to demand action on climate change and link local action to global action in Paris this December.
“Of the ten cities in the world most threatened by sea level rise: five are American, two are in Florida and Tampa is one of them”, said Kent Bailey Chair of the Tampa Bay Sierra Club. “The time to debate the science of climate disruption has past. We march to demand a sustainable, renewable energy economy now and for the sake of generations yet unborn.”
Dressed in life vests and pool floaties to highlight regional threats from sea-level rise, Tampa Bay residents will join hands with communities not usually associated with climate change – frontline communities, labor unions, immigrants, students, and faith communities, to call on Senator Marco Rubio to be a climate leader, not denier.
“We know that low income communities are disproportionately affected by pollution, failing infrastructure, poor air quality and the repercussions of natural disasters,” said Nadaije Jajoute, a worker with the Fight for $15. “If we have a disaster like Katrina or Sandy here in Florida, who do you think will be the most impacted?”
“Labor supports increased clean, renewable energy which will reduce the pollution that is causing climate change. It also presents a unique opportunity to grow jobs here in the U.S. designing, manufacturing, installing, and maintaining the products and materials needed for energy efficiency and renewable energy generation,” said Aaron Carmella of the West Central Florida Federation of Labor. “We call on our leaders to develop a plan that relies on creating jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency to ensure our families and communities are safe, healthy and prepared for climate change.” states Aaron Carmella of the West Central Florida Federation of Labor.”
"To solve everything, we need everyone, and every solution, from solar-powered cars to zero-energy homes to a massive increase in public transit," said Jennifer Rubiello, state director with Environment Florida. "We’re calling on Senator Rubio to take immediate and responsive action to address climate change that includes limiting dirty carbon emissions from power plants—the single largest contributor to global warming pollution.”
The rally also comes in the buildup to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. At this meeting, world leaders will make critical decisions that will impact Floridians for generations to come.
“These actions across the country send a clear signal to the world leaders meeting in Paris that the time is now to act and act boldly to reduce carbon emissions and to make serious, binding commitments to fight climate change,” said Paul Getsos, National Coordinator of the People’s Climate Movement.
Local Tampa Bay residents will join over a dozen groups including Environment Florida, Sierra Club Florida, Suncoast and Tampa Bay Groups, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, Suncoast Surfrider, Service Employees International Union, Organize Now, Buddhist Climate Action Network, Tampa Bay Climate Action Network, Progress Florida, Fight for $15, and AFL-CIO.