Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Juneau poet Lynn Davis reads a poem Tuesday at a demonstration in Dimond Court Plaza across from the Alaska State Capitol. Dozens of protestors gathered to support strong actions by the state to combat climate change.

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire Juneau poet Lynn Davis reads a poem Tuesday at a demonstration in Dimond Court Plaza across from the Alaska State Capitol. Dozens of protestors gathered to support strong actions by the state to combat climate change.

Environmentalists welcome lawmakers with call to action

Activists call for more green legislation

Protesters, including some state lawmakers, demonstrated in favor of more aggressive action at the state level to combat climate change.

Dozens of protesters braved the cold Tuesday afternoon and gathered around the statue of William H. Seward in Courthouse Plaza in downtown Juneau to welcome state lawmakers to town, Doug Woodby of 350Juneau told the crowd.

“We’re here to let them know we expect significant climate legislation this year,” he said, mentioning a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, aimed at increasing energy efficiency in state buildings and use of clean energy. Senate Bill 17 includes a goal to have half of all energy used by state or state-funded facilities come from clean energy sources by 2026.

“We realize it’s a really tough sell in our state at this time,” Woodby said in an interview with the Empire. “That doesn’t stop us from advocating because we really are in a climate crisis.”

During the rally, Elaine Schroeder of 350Juneau claimed the world was moving away from fossil fuels, citing the previous day’s announcement the New York City pension fund would divest $4 billion away from fossil fuels.

“Now, I think it’s time for our Permanent Fund and our state pension fund to wake up and do the same,” Schroeder said.

[Protesters: Oil is not where the money is]

The demonstration lasted an hour and featured multiple speakers and performers, some of whom recited environmentally themed poetry. State Reps. Sarah Hannan and Andi Story, both Juneau Democrats, attended the event but didn’t speak to the crowd.

350Juneau has repeatedly submitted letters to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation urging divestment from fossil fuels. The group held a rally last month that similarly happened to coincide with divestment news out of New York. In December, the New York state pension fund it was divesting its $226 billion from fossil fuels the same day 350Juneau delivered a letter to an APFC Board meeting.

Some lawmakers have been receptive to 350Juneau’s lobbying in the past, Woodby said, though none from the Republican side.

Woodby said 350Juneau and other activist organizations would be holding weekly rallies at the plaza every Friday at noon beginning Feb. 5, until the Legislature adjourns.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Sept. 18

Here’s what to expect this week.

A Lucas White (21) block buys Jarrell Williams (1) more room to work during a 49-32 win against Service High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Juneau cooks up a conference title

Huskies are back-to-back Cook Inlet Conference champs after lopsided win.

An Alaska judge has ruled that a state lawmaker affiliated with the Oath Keepers, Rep. David Eastman, shown in this February 2022 photo, may stay on the general election ballot in November even though he's likely ineligible to hold public office  (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Judge keeps Oath Keepers lawmaker on November ballot

Judge ordered delaying certifying the result of the race until a trial scheduled for December.

Jim Scheufelt, right, explains how his newly purchased Ford Mustang Mach-E operates to a couple of visitors at the ninth annual Juneau EV EBIKE Roundup on Saturday. He said he has always driven Fords because his father worked for the company, but decided this year to make the switch from gas to electric. He said his wife drives a similar model and their son an electric Ford Focus, making them “an all-EV household.” (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
EV owners rally ’round rain, resourcefulness and solar rays

Ninth annual event celebrates Juneau’s electric vehicle growth as one of fastest in U.S.

Water rushes down Front Street, just a half block from the Bering Sea, in Nome, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 as the remnants of Typhoon Merbok moved into the region. It was a massive storm system — big enough to cover the mainland U.S. from the Pacific Ocean to Nebraska and from Canada to Texas. It influenced weather systems as far away as California, where a rare late-summer storm dropped rain on the northern part of the state, offering a measure of relief to wildfire crews but also complicating fire suppression efforts because of mud and loosened earth. (AP Photo / Peggy Fagerstrom)
Repair work begins in some Alaska towns slammed by storm

ANCHORAGE — There’s been significant damage to some roads and homes in… Continue reading

j
Sniffen indicted on sexual abuse counts

Sniffen will be arraigned Monday.

In this undated file photo the Trans-Alaska pipeline and pump station north of Fairbanks, Alaska is shown. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
Oil price drop endangers plan to fund Alaska schools a year early

If oil prices fall, amount is automatically reduced to an amount the state can afford. At

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau Police Department announces technology and reporting updates

Emergeny services and direct reporting will not be interrupted

Most Read