‘Week of West Virginia Climate Action’ Planned for Morgantown

From Sept. 20-27, newly formed group seeks to draw attention to the impacts of the climate crisis on West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Inspired by the “Fridays For The Future” movement in Europe and across the United States, a group of West Virginia citizens is planning local events to highlight the need for immediate action on climate change. The new grassroots citizen organization, West Virginia Climate Action, wants to start a public conversation about climate solutions in West Virginia. 

In support, the City of Morgantown’s new resolution proclaiming Sept. 20-27, 2019 the “Week of West Virginia Climate Action” encourages all West Virginians to learn about climate change, engage with others to discuss climate change, and urge elected leaders to address climate change and its potential impacts on the people, infrastructure, and natural resources of Morgantown. 

WV Climate Action is a fast-growing group of citizens, scientists, educators and students coming together to highlight climate solutions by planning a week of actions and activities throughout the state, including educational, films, discussions, and demonstrations.

WV Climate Action will join millions across the world from September 20-27, 2019 in support of Greta Thunberg and the global youth movement demanding a stable climate, stable jobs, and a just transition to renewable energy.

The Eastern Hellbender Salamander, found in streams in West Virginia, is particularly vulnerable to pollutants. Their decline in the state is a result of the climate crisis gripping the planet, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

WV Climate Action encourages all West Virginians to take action in their neighborhoods, workplaces, classrooms, churches, businesses, organizations, and communities to call attention to climate solutions. Activities already planned or underway include a September 20 climate action rally from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at West Virginia University’s Woodburn Circle, organized by WVU Sierra Student Coalition and the WVU Student Government Association (SGA). Student organizers Abby Minihan with Student Sierra Coalition and Madi Matheny, SGA Vice-President, said the event will focus awareness and engage students in a conversation about climate solutions. “This is the generation that will be most affected and we need urgent action,” said Minihan.

“Determining WVU’s carbon footprint, increasing energy efficiency, and obtaining green building certifications are all solutions that can be implemented this year,” added Matheny. 

The WV Science Public Outreach Team (www.wvspot.org) is available to make presentations to West Virginia schools on the topics of water and watersheds. The West Virginia University Planetarium will host a special screening of “Dynamic Earth.” Huntington High School Environmental Science classes will make posters encouraging green roofs and other actions to reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect. WVU professors and staff members are hosting “Lunch Time Climate Discussions.”

West Virginia Citizens Climate Lobby, a group that advocates for a carbon fee and dividend, will host a statewide video conference on the “New Day for the Coalfields” proposal. It calls for a one percent carve out from any carbon pricing fees collected to be returned to the coalfields to aid in a just transition.WV Climate Action co-sponsors — Morgantown Citizens’ Climate Lobby, WV Sierra Club, League of Women Voters of WV, WV Citizen Action Group, Mountaineers for Progress, and Positive Spin — welcome other organizations and citizens to join the effort. Information about participating in WV Climate Action is available at the website: https://sites.google.com/view/citizens-climate-lobby-wv/wv-climate-action, WVClimateAction@gmail.com or the Climate Action Rally Facebook page.

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