In early 2017, a core group of Juneau- based Alaskans, came together organize a local chapter of 350.org. In April 2017 they successfully launched the new group, 350Juneau, with a festive and informative Kickoff Event at the Rookery, a Juneau coffee house.
By June several 350JUNEAU members testified at the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) Assembly meeting urging Assembly members to sign onto the Climate Mayors’ Network which supports the Paris Climate Agreement. The Assembly initially agreed with our request but then reversed its action at a later meeting. We will be pursuing CBJ to take positive action in the coming months. We want CBJ to join with cities across the country in endorsing the Paris agreement to combat climate change. We later sent an email to over 500 350JUNEAU supporters urging them to let Assembly members know they support Juneau joining the Climate Mayors’ Network.
350JUNEAU participated in the local 4th of July parade with an entry entitled”Parade of Species” and won first prize! 350 members dressed up like various animals holding signs urging climate action. What fun!
A My Turn by two steering committee members was printed in the Juneau Empire on 7/28/17 titled Juneau’s Role in Climate Change urging Assembly to support Climate Mayors’ Network at 7/31/17 meeting.
On 8/21/17 the CBJ Assembly adopted a resolution renewing its support for CBJ’s energy efforts. 350JUNEAU supported this resolution.
350Jnu co-hosted (with Renewable Juneau) a talk by Kelsey Skaggs, the Executive Director of the Climate Defense Project at 360 North regarding legal efforts defending climate activists nationally.
350JUNEAU sponsored a free showing of “An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power” at Glacier Cinema for middle & high school students. We contacted about 25 science teachers in all the schools and about 110 students came to watch the climate action movie.
350JUNEAU co-hosted “A Call to Life: Variations on a Theme of Extinction” with Kathleen Dean Moore (essayist) and Rachelle McCabe (pianist) at Northern Light United Church. This was a beautiful and moving program of words and music that expressed the urgency for climate action.
We hosted two showings at Gold Town Theatre of the award-winning documentary, “Chasing Coral”, about the plight of corals in light of ocean warming and acidification. We had an engaged and large audience at both showings.
350JUNEAU signed onto an Alaska Climate Action Network letter to Governor Walker & Lt. Gov Mallott urging actions on climate change in Alaska. Specifically, we urged: 1) Alaska should join 14 other states in the U.S. Climate Alliance to support the Paris Accord; 2) Alaska should aggressively fight climate change by stopping subsidizing oil/gas exploration and production and rethink the LNG gas line project; and 3) Alaska should begin to systematically transition our state away from a fossil fuel-dependent economy.
December 2017-January 2018
350JUNEAU initiated an email Action Alert to supporters to garner support for “Juneau’s Renewable Energy Strategy” by contacting CBJ Assembly members.
350JJUNEAU members submitted a letter to the CBJ Assembly Public Works Committee providing ab analysis and urging CBJ action to evaluate electric buses for Capital Transit to begin the electrification of CBJ’s fleet. We provided technical assistance CBJ staff in preparing a proposal to the VW Emissions Cheating Settlement program describing broader efforts on electrification of Juneau’s transportation.
Individual 350JUNEU members submitted comments expressing concerns regarding Hydro One’s acquisition of Alaska Electric Light and Power.
We hosted a video showing of 350.org‘s “Fossil Free Fast” live streaming event with noted climate leaders. About 55 people attended and shared ideas afterward at a reception with pizza and snacks.
350Juneau initiated its campaign on Fossil Fuel Divestment of the Alaska Permanent Fund (see separate section on divestment).
We sponsored Rick Steiner, long time Anchorage climate activist, for a talk on Alaska Permanent Fund Divestment from Fossil Fuels.
Four 350JUNEAU members testified at the AK Permanent Fund Trustees’ meeting in Juneau and expressed concern about the financial performance of fossil fuel investments in the Fund. jWe joined a statewide effort spearheaded by Alaska Climate Action Network and took the lead on Juneau-based actions. A press release was sent out before the Trustees’ meeting detailing our request that the Trustees & their staff assess the financial performance of the Fund’s fossil fuel holdings and provide a report to the public. APFC staff were directed to provide information about fossil fuel investments at the next meeting on May 23-24 in Anchorage.
The Juneau Empire followed up on 350JUNEAU testimony with a front-page news article on 2/22/18.
March – April 2018
The Steering Committee engaged in ongoing efforts on the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign geared toward a longer-term strategy. A 3/28/18 letter was sent to Ms. Angela Rodell, CEO of AK Perm Fund Corp. following up on 350Juneau February 21st testimony and asking to meet about the Corp. efforts to assess the financial performance of fossil fuel holdings of the Fund. 350JUNEAU penned a 3/29/18 Juneau Empire “My Turn” – Permanent Fund Dividends could be at Risk, regarding poor fossil fuel investment performance.
The Alaska Folk Festival audience was entertained and enlightened by 350JUNEAU’’s “Carbon Footprints” who performed songs about our climate crisis backed up by a terrific band.
We hosted Libby Roderick, much-loved Alaskan folk musician, in concert to a full house at Northern Light United Church. Libby, a long-time environmental justice activist, sang original climate-related songs as well as her old favorites. A reception following the concert was also well attended.
Continuing work on the divestment campaign included a letter to Angela Rodell, CEO of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation which reiterated our earlier request for accurate and understandable fossil fuel investment performance information and sought transparency on this issue. Later, Steering Committee members testified by telephone at May 23rd Trustees’ meeting.
350JUNEAU submitted a formal comment letter to the US Forest Service on its long-range planning for the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area. The comments endorsed the proposed electric shuttle, preferential parking for electric vehicles, electric boat shuttles, local hydropower, and retrofitting existing visitor center with air source heat pumps. We encouraged the USFS to showcase the effects of climate change at the glacier to the captive audience of worldwide visitors. This letter was followed up with a 350JUNEAU 5/16/18 My Turn “Forward-thinking Planning vital to the future of ‘the glacier’”.
350JUNEAU submitted a comment letter on the draft climate action policy and recommendations compiled by the Governor’s Alaska Climate Action Leadership Team. While applauding the Governor for assembling the Team, the comments clearly stated that further exploration and development of fossil fuels in the Arctic should be halted and that natural gas as a “bridge fuel” is bad policy for Alaska. The letter stated that the draft policy is heavy on adaptation and light on mitigation, and instead, Alaskans need an aggressive wake up to urgently reduce our carbon footprint.
A 6/9/18 letter to the CBJ stated 350JUNEAU’s support for the Borough’s grant application to the Federal Transportation Administration for additional funding for electric buses under the FTA’s Low or No Emission Grant Program.
350JUNEAU teamed up with Renewable Juneau on a 6/30/18 comment letter to the Alaska Energy Authority regarding its draft VW Settlement Mitigation Plan. The comments suggested that AEA reduce its proposed categories for grants to disburse the $8.125 million Alaska will receive under the 50 States’ share of the overall settlement and focus on EV charging infrastructure, electric buses, and upgrades to rural diesel power generation facilities.
350JUNEAU co-hosted a well-attended reception with The Nation magazine whose members were on an Alaskan cruise. Two steering committee members provided comments on climate change impacts on Alaska and climate actions in the state, along with long-time The Nation contributors Michael Klare and John Nichols.
350JUNEAU coordinated the Rise for Climate rally held at the Alaska Capitol, followed by a group photo shoot at the Bill Overstreet “Whale” Park. About 200 people attended, watched a Native dance group performance, and listened to several speakers about climate change action. Keynote speaker was Dr. Don Wuebbles, a University of Illinois atmospheric scientist who was a climate advisor to the Obama administration and a former member of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
350JUNEAU continues to host events in Juneau and advocate for a sustainable, fossil-free tomorrow. Check our events page and be sure to sign up for our emails to stay involved and be part of our future!