Climate change panel discussion in Rochester

Originally published on December 6, 2018 5:48 am

The United Nations has said the world has 12 years left to address climate change, or floods, wildfires, heat waves and extreme weather will impact millions of people.

A group of environmental advocates gathered on Wednesday night to discuss the problem.

Co-chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund, Mark Dunlea, says it's a frightening forecast, but we do know how to solve climate change, it just takes the political leadership to make that happen, and that starts with people talking with their legislative leaders.

"And say we need to act now.  We need to stop building out any more fossil fuel infrastructure immediately, and we have to dramatically expand how fast, not only do we do solar and wind, but energy conservation and moving to all electric vehicles and requiring simple things like all new buildings should have net zero carbon emissions," he said.

Dunlea says New York can provide national leadership by passing the Off Fossil Fuels Act, which would immediately halt all new fossil fuel infrastructure, transition to 100 percent clean renewable energy by the year 2030, and require all new buildings to be at least net zero carbon emissions.

The Act also requires not only the state, but counties and local governments with more than 50 thousand people to enact their own climate action plan with goals and benchmarks over a two year period.

Dunlea maintains we know how to solve climate change, but lack the political will so far.

Dunlea joined several other panelists for a discussion on climate change Wednesday at  the St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Highland Avenue.