For Immediate Release

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Mark Morgenstein, Director of Media Relations, markm@publicinterestnetwork.org, (w) 303-573-5556, (c) 678-427-1671

Environment America, Dozens More Groups Sign Climate Strong Islands Declaration

Declaration calls for more sustainable, resilient island communities.

SAN JUAN, P.R. - Representing Americans from Guam to St. Croix,  more than 60 U.S. island communities, foundations, environmental organizations, companies, and academic institutions came together Wednesday to sign the Climate Strong Islands Declaration. This first-of-its kind effort is designed to encourage philanthropy, government, business, and academia to recognize how the deepening climate crisis is affecting island communities and how current policies, programs and approaches fall short in meeting their needs. 
 
The Climate Strong Islands Declaration sets forth a set of principles, challenges, and opportunities faced by islands in the United States and its territories and serves as a call to help these communities respond to the climate crisis in an effective way.
 
With the right support, island communities are well positioned to create, pilot, and perfect innovative solutions that address climate mitigation, resilience, and sustainability. They can pioneer nature-based solutions to prevent coastal erosion in the face of rising sea levels and intensifying storms. With sustained and focused investments, they are poised to transform their energy, transportation, food, and water systems and model the low-carbon, resilient economy we need to build in the 21st century.

Wendy Wendlandt, acting president of Environment America, participated in the announcement of the Declaration and released the following statement:  

Environment America has affiliates in more than two dozen states, including many with vibrant island communities. Our people on the ground see firsthand how island residents bravely face down climate impacts, from hurricanes to sea-level rise, and the devastating flooding and storm surges that they can bring. The destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria here in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean made it clear to those who don’t live it each day: To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to act—and act NOW. For everyone’s sake, it’s imperative that we stop burning fossil fuels and switch to increasingly abundant renewable energy to electrify everything in our society, from buildings to transportation and more. 

Transportation has become climate enemy number one in the United States. The U.S.  transportation sector is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire economies of France and the United Kingdom combined. We just released a report yesterday providing a roadmap to a destination of zero-carbon transportation to ensure that our children live in safer, healthier communities. We know how to do it -- with clean, electric cars and buses, and pedestrian-friendly and bicycle-friendly streets. We just need to convince our elected officials that we have the will to make these changes to our outdated, car-centric culture. And as we power our society more and more with clean, renewable energy, we can also power our transportation system with energy we harness from the sun and the wind. 

We owe it to our friends here in Puerto Rico and on all endangered islands to step up to the climate challenge and take bold action.

The full list of signatories includes:

350.org
Abruña & Musgrave Architects
America’s WETLAND Foundation
Atlantic Marine Conservation Society
Boricuas Unidos en la Diáspora
Brigadas Salubristas
Cambio, Puerto Rico
Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment
Clean Energy Group
Comite Dialogo Ambiental
Coral Vita
Defend H2O
El Puente
El Puente: Enlace Latino de Acción Climática
Emerge Puerto Rico
Enterprise
Environment America
Environmental Defense Fund
Estuario
Friends of the Bay
Friends of the Earth United States
Fundación Amigos de El Yunque
Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico
Futures Forum
Galveston Bay Foundation
Global Island Partnership
Governor of Guam
Green Cross
Guam Legislature
Hawai’i Youth Climate Coalition
Hawai’i Green Growth
Hispanic Federation
Institute of Caribbean Studies
Island Impact
Island Institute
Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo
Long Island Community Foundation
The Miami Foundation
Micronesia Climate Change Alliance
Mujeres de Islas
Natural Area Reserves System
The Nature Conservancy
The New York Community Trust
North Shore Land Alliance
The Ocean Foundation
Open Space Council
Pacific RISA
Para la Naturaleza
Puerto Rico Bar Association
Queremos Sol
Rocky Mountain Institute
Sea Grant Puerto Rico
Sierra Club
Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood NY
Solar Responders
SWEEP Standard
Sylvester Manor Educational Farm
Trust for Public Land’s Hawaiian Islands Program
United Nations Association of the United States of America - Puerto Rico Chapter
University of Guam
University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability
University of Guam Green Army
University of Puerto Rico Center for Public Health Preparedness
University of Puerto Rico Department of Environmental Health
Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust
ViequesLove
Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology

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Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations. Our professional staff in 27 states and Washington, D.C., combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for the environment. Environment America draws on 30 years of success in tackling environmental problems.

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