In this week's Newsletter: Adopting the Paris Accords could save many human lives, the latest on the Climate Kids lawsuit, green grilling for summer and much more!
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Can Adopting the Paris Accords Save Lives?

Under the Paris climate agreement, 195 countries pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to hold global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. They also promised efforts to limit the temperature increase even further, to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The half-degree difference between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees may not seem like much, but, according to research published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, it could mean saving or losing thousands of lives each year in the United States alone.

The researchers wanted to assess the benefits of the Paris Agreement “not in terms of the climate or the temperature, but in terms of how many human lives could be saved or how many heat-related deaths could be avoided by mitigating climate change,” said Eunice Lo, a research associate at the University of Bristol and lead author of the study.

Her research indicates that in New York City alone, more than 2,700 lives are lost during the hottest most extreme summers. People most at risk from heat-related deaths are the very young, the already ill, the elderly and the poor, who have less access to air conditioning.

You can read more about this on the NY Times website here.

Is a Livable Climate a Constitutional Right?

Is there a constitutional right to a stable climate system? The US government doesn’t think so, but what could be more fundamental to the constitutional right not to be deprived of “life, liberty, or property without the due process of law”? If the nation continues on its current path of subsidizing and expanding fossil fuel extraction, today’s youth and future generations will surely find their lives (and property, if they have any) in jeopardy.

That’s the basis of Juliana v. United States, also known as the climate kids lawsuit. On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, a three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case, pursuant to deciding if the case can proceed to trial.

The 21 youth plaintiffs were represented in court by Julia Olson, lead attorney for Our Children’s Trust, the nonprofit organization that filed the lawsuit in 2015. Thus far, government efforts to have the case dismissed have succeeded in delaying the trial for so long that, according to the New York Times, 14 of the plaintiffs are now old enough to vote.

The judges find themselves in a difficult position—sympathetic to the plaintiff’s arguments, but unsure if they have the power to intervene. “You present compelling evidence that we have a real problem,” said Judge Hurwitz. “It may even rise to the level of criminal neglect. The tough question is, do we get to act because of that?”

You can read more about this case on the Nonprofit Quarterly website here.

Co-Ops Go Solar Solstice Celebration on June 21st

UHAB and Solar One are celebrating the affordable co-ops signed up for solar around the city! So far, 22 affordable co-ops have signed up for solar power across New York City. Collectively they’ll save over $4,500,000 in avoided electric bills and divert 9,500 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere over the panels’ 25 year lifetime.

Plus, Solar One's Anika Wistar-Jones will be receiving a Special Recognition Award for her work facilitating these affordable solar projects on multi-family buildings.

Join us on the longest day of the year, June 21st, at Synod Hall at the Cathedral of St John the Divine and explore a just transition that centers affordable housing. This is a free event; snacks and childcare will be provided. RSVP at give.classy.org/solstice.
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Upcoming Events at Solar One

6/15
THIS SATURDAY! Community Volunteer Day
Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, Manhattan, 9am-12pm, free
For more information and to RSVP, email Park Manager Emily Curtis-Murphy. Pizza lunch will be served.

Upcoming Events

6/15
North Brooklyn Boat Club Public Paddle Series
Manhattan Avenue Street End Park, Brooklyn, 12-4pm, free

6/16
Take the Bait: Free Catch & Release Fishing with Lower East Side Ecology Center
East River Park Field, Manhattan, 12-2pm, free

The Great Staten Island Father’s Day Lighthouse Boat Tour
The National Lighthouse Museum, 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island, 11am-2pm, $62 adults/$42 children 10 & under/$52 military & seniors 62+

6/19
Clean Energy Connections Panel Discussion Series: NYC's Low Carbon Future
WNYC Greene Space, 84 Charlton Street at the corner of Varick Street, Manhattan, 6:30-9:30pm, $25 general admission $10 with valid student ID
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