Environment

A coalition of local conservationists plans to call on the Louisville Metro Council to go fossil-free by 2030 during a rally this Saturday.

The “Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice” rally is one of hundreds of rallies to be held in cities around the world on Saturday. Demonstrators are demanding an end to the world’s reliance on fossil fuels and the inclusion of disenfranchised communities in the resulting economic opportunities.

“The reality is that our species is in danger. The ability of earth to sustain human life as we’ve known it is at risk,” said Mark Steiner, event co-organizer. “So we’re going to encourage our city council to become much more bold and much more committed to taking action that protects our environment.”

Louisville activists plan on presenting the Metro Council with a resolution to transition city operations to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 and the entire community by 2035. It also urges the city to support that goal by prioritizing programs that promote equity in energy use, rates and jobs.

“Clearly on a national level and on a state level we are sorely lacking on acting responsibly,” Steiner said. “One of the things we can do to make up for that is act locally.”

Louisville’s rally is scheduled for Saturday outside Metro Hall beginning at 10 a.m. The event will include speeches, a march and a fair. The event’s theme of “climate, jobs and justice” recognizes how all of these things are interconnected, Steiner said.

“To take on climate we have got to take on our addiction to fossil fuels,” Steiner said.

That means retooling our energy infrastructure, our economy and our workforce, he said. And as that happens, we need to ensure the growth of these new industries benefits all facets of society including the working poor, immigrants and other marginalized communities, Steiner said.

“The climate challenge means more than reaching a certain goal,” said co-organizer Drew Foley. “It also means putting power in the hands of the people. It means economic opportunity for workers and justice and dignity for frontline communities that are the hardest hit by the impacts of fossil fuel usage and a warming world.”

 

This story has been updated.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter.