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

Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Feb. 5

Folks at the Alaska State Capitol openly admit to plenty of fish tales, but to a large degree in ways intended to benefit residents and sometimes even the fish. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The bizarre bills other state legislatures are considering

Alaska’s Legislature isn’t mulling the headline-grabbers some statehouses have in the works.

This photo shows snow-covered hills in the Porcupine River Tundra in the Yukon Territories, Canada. In July 1997, a hunter contacted troopers in Fairbanks, Alaska, and reported finding a human skull along the Porcupine River, around 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the Canadian border. Investigators used genetic genealogy to help identify the remains as those of Gary Frank Sotherden, according to a statement Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, from Alaska State Troopers. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer)
Skull found in ‘97 in Interior belongs to New York man

A skull found in a remote part of Alaska’s Interior in 1997… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Officer William Hicks stands with JPD Chief Ed Mercer and Deputy Chief David Campbell during a swearing in ceremony for Hicks on Thursday at the JPD station in Lemon Creek. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
New officer joins JPD’s ranks

The Juneau Police Department welcomed a new officer to its ranks Thursday… Continue reading

These photos show Nova, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and the illegally placed body hold trap, commonly referred to as a Conibear trap, that caught her while walking near Outer Point Trail last week. (Courtesy / Jessica Davis)
Dog narrowly survives rare illegally placed trap in Juneau

State wildlife officials outlined what to do if found in similar situation

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Public defender agency to refuse some cases, citing staffing

ANCHORAGE — A state agency that represents Alaskans who cannot afford their… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police: Gift card scam connected to hoax Fred Meyer threats

This article has been moved in front of the Empire’s paywall. A… Continue reading

This is a concept design drawing that was included in the request for proposal sent out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities seeking outside engineering and design services to determine whether it’s feasible to build a new ferry terminal facility in Juneau at Cascade Point. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
DOT takes steps toward potential Cascade Point ferry terminal facility

It would accommodate the Tazlina and or Hubbard, shorten trips to Haines and Skagway

Most Read