Juneau Assembly reaffirms commitment to climate goals

By August 21, 2017 August 31st, 2018 Climate Change, Environment, Juneau, Local Government
Jerry Nankervis, July 30, 2015. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis on July 30, 2015. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

The Juneau Assembly voted to affirm its commitment to climate action on Monday — but not without a fight.

“We need to continue to understand and predict what is coming – what might be coming – and how climate will change over the next century, which is vital to our economy and to our community,” said University of Alaska Southeast Professor Jim Powell, a former Juneau Assemblyman.

In a bid to win over some skeptical Assembly members, Assemblywoman Maria Gladziszewski amended her resolution to drop references to groups that overtly criticized the Trump administration’s denial of climate science.

There was still opposition. Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis argued the Assembly had no business interjecting into a national debate over climate change.

“We’ve got plenty of things to be doing locally and it’s not to make a statement about what the federal government is or isn’t doing,” Nankervis said.

Assembly women Debbie White and Mary Becker also voted to oppose the resolution that passed 6-3.

Juneau now joins more than 300 U.S. cities pledging support for the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

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