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Newly formed West Virginia environmental group presents climate report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia environmental leaders have formed a group with the intent to promote public education on climate change.

The West Virginia Climate Alliance held one of its first public events Monday with a press conference releasing a new 16-page report titled A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change.

“It’s really important for West Virginians to understand what the causes are of climate change, what are some of the impacts and more importantly, what are the various options that are there so we can have an informed discussions about how to proceed to reduce greenhouse gas admissions,” Perry Bryant, the moderator of the virtual event said on MetroNews ‘Talkline.’

According to the Sierra Club, the Guide, written by West Virginians for West Virginians, is an effort to educate the public on the causes of climate change and provide solutions that center around environmental justice and just transition to clean energy for impacted workers and frontline communities.

Bryant said the group let the readers decide what to think and feel.

“We didn’t say ‘we ought to have a green new deal or we ought to have cap and trade or a carbon fee and dividend.’ We layout exactly what those proposals do. We let the reader decide what fits his or her philosophy best,” he said on ‘Talkline.’

Bryant added on ‘Talkline’ there need to be two provisions in any proposal to address climate change. Those include environmental justice to make sure that low-income communities and people of color are not adversely affected and a transition to not leave coal miners and coal communities behind with the transition.

Angie Rosser, Executive Director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition, echoed Bryant’s comments in West Virginia transitioning in the effort on ‘Talkline.’ She was one of the participates at the presser Monday.

“The truth of the matter is the science is driving us to make changes. Addressing climate change is complex to begin with when you are talking about that in a historically fossil fuel-producing state, it gets even more complex,” Rosser said.

Other participants included Gary Zuckett, Executive Director of West Virginia Citizen Action Education Fund, Pam Nixon with the NAACP Charleston branch, Jim Probst, the State Coordinator for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Jim Kotcon the Chair of the Conservation Committee for the WV Chapter of Sierra Club, Leah Barbor of Moms Clean Air Force West Virginia Chapter, and Robin Blakeman, the Project Coordinator of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.





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