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Small Group Of Protesters Gather As Governors And Premiers Meet

New England and eastern Canadian provincial flags
Pat Bradley/WAMC
New England and eastern Canadian provincial flags

A small group of protesters held signs and milled about the entry to the Stowe Mountain Lodge earlier this week as governors and premiers from around the Northeast met inside.
The half-dozen individuals who carried signs and waved at passing cars are concerned that the New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers are not adequately addressing environmental issues.

The future of rivers and streams brought Albany, New York resident Tom Ellis to the mountains.  He is a member of the Solidarity Committee, an affiliate of the North American Megadams Resistance Alliance.  “Most people in the United States have no idea that rivers are being destroyed in Canada to supply electricity in the United States. We just think it’s stupid to be destroying rivers for any reason whatsoever. We live on a planet where climate change is really intensifying very rapidly as we’ve seen in the last month with all time heat records being set, 90 degree temperatures even in the Arctic. I mean we have a climate crisis and we should be doing as much as we can to preserve nature.”

Carl Bayer of Ryegate, Vermont is concerned that greenhouse gas reduction goals are not being met.  “Fossil fuels are killing our civilization. About 44 percent of Americans actually discuss climate change. It’s their present. It’s their future. It’s their grandchildren’s future. But 44 percent don’t discuss it. We certainly want our leaders who do discuss it to do something about it.”

Prince Edward Island Premier Wade MacLauchlan vigorously defended the regional leaders’ actions against climate change over the years.  “This group, the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, was actually one of the first international collectivities in the world to make commitments on greenhouse gas reduction and we have had since 2015 a commitment to reduce our emissions by  35 to 45 percent by 2030. Now that is actually a superior commitment to the Paris Accord. And we collaborate, work for renewable solutions and I don’t think you’ll find very many places in the world where you have that kind of multijurisdictional cross border collaboration.”

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy briefly added:  “I just simply say we’re not doing enough, we’re just doing more than  anyone else.”

Conservation Law Foundation Senior Attorney Sandra Levine was attending the conference. She said the governors and premiers could take more aggressive action on environmental issues.  “Recognizing that what we’re doing is not enough but then failing to take the next step to do more is very disappointing. There are many actions they could take. I mean they could work collectively on transportation more than they’ve been. They could set a regional cap on emissions that they haven’t done. They could regionally look to putting a regional price on carbon emissions. You know there’s a whole suite of solutions that are available. We don’t need to wait around for new technologies. We just need to have the commitment to take the action that we need to do.”

The governors and premiers passed a resolution to create a working group to look at regional collaboration for climate change adaptation and resilience strategies.

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