New Haven Climate Movement: Past Successes and New Projects

by Grace Laliberte, New Haven Climate Movement

The New Haven Climate Movement (NHCM) is a grass-roots collection of youth and individuals in the New Haven area pushing for action regarding the current climate emergency. The group has worked with New Haven officials to implement city-wide reform in the past year and has been successful in many ventures, such as the passing of the New Haven Climate and Sustainability Framework in 2018, which provided a specific framework for acting on the climate emergency, as well as passing the New Haven Climate Emergency Resolution in 2019, where the city agreed to reduce New Haven’s carbon emissions to zero by 2030 and to implement a Climate Mobilization Task Force.

This year, NHCM was able to compel New Haven to invest $560,000 in capital funding towards climate infrastructure projects through our 0.1% for the Future proposal, which requested that 0.1% of the city budget be set aside for climate action. Although these successes are monumental and praiseworthy, NHCM continues to mobilize to ensure New Haven follows through on these promises required to address the growing urgency of the climate crisis.

Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, NHCM is working on a set of inspiring initiatives, such as our Climate Justice Schools Proposal, to improve the implementation of quality climate-based education in New Haven Public Schools. Our Electric Future committee is also striving for electrification for all buildings, vehicles, and appliances in New Haven, which would allow the city economic gain, increased social equity, less air and noise pollution, and other benefits. NHCM is also working towards spreading awareness and educating those who reside on Connecticut’s shoreline about the threatening climate through a CT Green New Deal, which urges state representatives to address pressing issues like flooding, beach erosion, and future heightened natural disasters.

Overall, NHCM is committed to ensuring New Haven does its part in securing a just future while amplifying essential youth voices.

Join us this Saturday for our climate-themed virtual Trivia Night and Poster Making contest! Click the link in our bio to sign up and compete for the chance to win a $25 Patagonia gift card and $25 Artists and Craftsman gift card. More info on how everything works to come. We hope to see you there!!! #climatechange #globalwarming #climateeducation #climatecrisis #trivianight #trivia #quizlet #art #artcontest #patagonia #artisancrafts #newhaven #climatemovement #nhv #youth #connecticutevents

To stay updated on NHCM events such as the Sept. 25 official global climate change strike day and get more involved, you can check our website: www.newhavenclimatemovement.org, along with our Instagram and Facebook @newhavenclimatemovement.

Yale Students Walk Out Of Classes To Join Global Week Of Climate Strikes

by Fossil Free Yale

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, 500 Yale students walked out of their classes at noon as part of the global week of climate strikes, claiming that business as usual cannot continue while Yale remains invested in fossil fuel companies and Puerto Rico’s debt. The students and community members, who marched to President Salovey’s office from Cross Campus, pointed to Yale’s political and economic influence and demanded that Yale divest from the fossil fuel industry and cancel its holdings in Puerto Rico’s debt.

At noon, students stood up in their seminars, lectures, and workplaces, spoke briefly about the urgency of the climate crisis and their reasons for walking out, and then led their classmates to Cross Campus for a rally. Many students walked out of introductory physics and biology lectures, microeconomics, and a class called “Natural Disasters,” all of which had course rosters of over one hundred people. Professors in Yale College, as well as the Law School, the Divinity School, the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, canceled classes in solidarity with the protestors.

“We are in a moment of unprecedented youth mobilization for climate justice,” said Elea Hewitt, a member of the Association of Native Americans at Yale, who walked out of her Sex, Markets and Power lecture. “We feel we cannot continue to sit in our classes while Yale invests in companies that contribute to the climate crisis and exploit the people first affected.”

Speakers at the Yale rally included Adriana Colón-Adorno, a member of the Puerto Rican student group Despierta Boricua, who spoke about the effects of intensified storms on the island. A Yale School of Forestry student, Manon Lefevre, spoke about the linkage between the Amazon fires and Yale’s continued investments in fossil fuels. By the end of the rally, over 1000 Yale alumni and current students had signed a pledge not to donate to the university until they met the protestors’ demands.

The walkout of Sept. 25 followed a rally on the New Haven Green on Friday, Sept. 20 that drew 400 people. That event was led by the high schoolers from the New Haven Climate Movement Youth Action Team, and was part of the largest coordinated day of climate action in history, with 4,500 events in 150 countries and an estimated total of 4 million participants.

Press contacts:  Martin Man, martinmi5@hotmail.com, (845) 505-9281; Nora Heaphy, nmarie.heaphy@gmail.com, (203) 584-8017. Organization email: fossilfreeyale@gmail.com.

Top of the Rock Climate Picnic

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven Climate Movement

Join the New Haven Climate Movement from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 for a picnic at the English Shelter Pavilion located at the top of East Rock Park overlooking the City of New Haven.

This is an opportunity to celebrate New Haven’s passage of a Climate Emergency Resolution, strategize next steps, and most importantly welcome new members. We encourage those who are concerned about the climate disaster and/or want to ensure a safe climate to join our picnic. All are welcome!

Food and beverages will be provided, but feel free to bring anything you want to share. If you do bring something to share, please consider others’ dietary choices and bring either a vegetarian or vegan dish.
If you have any questions about the event, please email newhavenclimatemovement@gmail.com.

Climate Change and the Urgency to Act

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven Climate Movement

New Haven Climate Movement has launched a campaign to have the City of New Haven pass The Emergency Resolution to Restore a Safe Climate. The Resolution states, “New Haven declares that we face an existential climate emergency that threatens our city, region, state, nation, civilization, the natural world, and humanity.” The Resolution also states that: “New Haven officially commits to leading an emergency mobilization effort that, with appropriate financial and regulatory assistance from state and federal authorities, ends community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by or before Dec. 31, 2030, and immediately initiates an effort to safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere.” Please sign the petition at newhavenclimatemovement.org.

This Resolution is part of a growing national movement declaring that we are in a climate emergency and commit-ting cities to addressing it in time to avoid the worst outcomes. Local governments have become leaders of the climate emergency movement and are inspiring others to do the same. Los Angeles, Berkeley, Richmond, CA, and Hoboken, NJ, have passed emergency resolutions organized by the national organization The Climate Mobilization.  New Haven passed a Climate Framework in 2018 so it has a guide to follow. Beyond this, there are significant jobs and public health benefits of taking action now.

From The Climate Mobilization A Call for Safe Climate: To protect humanity, we need a massive transformation of our economy and society in a matter of years, not decades. We must rapidly direct our resources toward a singular national purpose: restoring a safe climate for our world.

From the Connecticut Governor’s Council on Climate Change: “With over 600 miles of coastline and 2.2 million people living in shoreline communities in Connecticut, the state’s residents and communities are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of weather and climate events. Connecticut residents are already beginning to experience such effects as climate change ramps up. For instance, in Connecticut alone, Hurricane Irene (2011) caused power outages affecting 754,000 customers and over $1 billion in damage, and Hurricane Sandy (2012) caused power outages affecting more than 600,000 customers and inflicted almost $2 billion in statewide damages. The latter forced thousands of Connecticut residents to evacuate, saw thousands apply for FEMA assistance, damaged roads and infrastructure, and took nine days for utilities to restore power. Many of Connecticut’s coastal communities and assets face an escalating risk of storm events exacerbated by climate change.”

For more information on the Resolution, or to get involved, contact Chris at nh@newhavenleon.org or call (203) 562-1607.