Cooper rolls out climate plan; protesters call it 'sham'
As students marched in locales around the world Friday to demand action to fight climate change, protesters disrupted a meeting in Raleigh to update state plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025.Posted — Updated
"This is an imperative for this administration," he said Friday.
While the Southern Environmental Law Center, the League of Conservation Voters and other environmental advocates praised the plan, some protesters called it a "greenwash" that doesn't go far enough.
About a dozen people had to be escorted out of the museum by police.
Amanda Robertson, a climate activist who helped organize the protest, said the governor needs to revoke state permits for the planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which is on hold because of legal challenges but is eventually expected to move fracked natural gas from West Virginia to southeastern North Carolina.
"Gov. Cooper has to stop dodging these inconvenient truths and stop repeating the corporate PR by these giant polluters," Warren said. "The hour is late, people."
Protesters also called on Cooper's administration to slow down large-scale deforestation in the state by the wood pellet industry, saying that the pipeline and the deforestation will hurt low-income and minority communities most.
Cooper said methane and gas pipelines will be part of the larger discussion as the plan moves forward.
"I certainly understand the feelings," he said. "People want us to move fast, and we do have to move fast. What we [also] have to do is move effectively and to make sure we aren’t just pounding the table and screaming, that we are actually getting something done toward moving us to a clean economy."
Under Cooper's plan, each state agency under his control is to come up with a plan to cut emissions over the next six years to meet the overall 40 percent reduction goal.
The Department of Transportation, for example, plans to put more zero-emission vehicles on the road and add more places to charge them. The Department of Commerce is looking to accelerate development of a green-energy workforce.
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