Today, Puerto Rican climate justice organizations are calling for action, demanding “no more empty promises” in regards to the climate crisis. Amnesty International and Sierra Club summon citizens this March 19th to “a call” to the Puerto Rican legislature to demand climate governance.
In the midst of the various public health, socio-political and economic crises that the world continues to face this new year, as part of the Climate Action NOW Campaign, the organizations Amnesty International Puerto Rico and Sierra Club Puerto Rico are demanding immediate and concrete action by legislators in response to the current climate crisis on this March 19th, Global Climate Action Day.
Latinas in Business board member, Maria Santiago-Valentin, has been actively involved with these organizations and other grassroots movements to push for climate justice. She is also the founder of the Atlantic Climate Justice Alliance whose mission is to “[apply] the power of deep grassroots organizing to win local, regional, statewide, national and international shifts” regarding climate change and unjust exposure of marginalized communities to its damaging effects.
The “call-athon” hopes to bring legislatures attention to the important climate issues in Puerto Rico. Part of what activists want to emphasize is the urgency to take immediate action and to consider three urgent elements to legislate and ensure climate action.
The 3 key elements to consider are:
Make sure PUBLIC FUNDS RESPOND TO THIS CRISIS. We have a unique conjuncture: millions of dollars in mitigation funds for infrastructure, research, database creation, jobs and recovery. The use of these funds requires a common thread with the climate issue and social and racial justice.
That they ACTIVATE AND LEGISLATE SO that land use planning responds to sustainability in the face of the climate crisis. The current Joint Permit Regulation will worsen the crisis. It is vital to repeal them and begin a broad process for a new regulation in keeping with what is stated here.
That it be INSPECTED AND LEGISLATED FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR COASTS. We already see the impact of the increase in sea level on our coasts. In other places they are preparing to protect the coasts while here construction continues in the maritime terrestrial zone. It is time for them to STOP the sale and destruction of our shores and beaches. OUR CONSTITUENT COMMUNITIES, PROPERTY AND ESSENTIAL INFRASTRUCTURE ARE AT RISK.
Hernaliz Vázquez Torres, from the Sierra Club organization, declared that “what we need now are not false promises. The climate crisis is here and the most affected people and communities have to deal with floods, displacement, deforestation, air pollution, food insecurity and loss of homes. Our lives depend on immediate action.”
For more than two years, Amnesty International Puerto Rico and Sierra Club Puerto Rico have taken to the streets demanding climate justice. Currently, with the COVID-19 pandemic, actions will take different forms and they make a call for # NoMásPromesasVacías calling on all people to join in making a “call” to the legislature asking them in phone calls to their offices to sign and publicly commit to the Citizen Declaration for the Climate Crisis.
This today, the organizations summon all citizens to call the legislature to demand Climate Action Now. “We are fed up with empty promises,” Vázquez declared.