Climate strikes across the state urge state and national action on climate change  

  • A Jaffrey group joined the worldwide climate strike on Friday morning. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • A Jaffrey group joined the worldwide climate strike on Friday morning. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Megan Wheeler has been organizing weekly climate strikes in Jaffrey, picking up where Maddy Springfield left off after the two began protesting last December. Wheeler said she is trying to raise awareness about climate change and demand more action from state and global leaders. After the heavy rains of this summer washed out roads and flooded homes in Jaffrey and Rindge, the effects of climate change might not seem so foreign to locals anymore. “I think it's been kind of been a wake-up call that the time to take action is now,” Wheeler said.  “We don't have another five, 10 years.” The activist groups Fridays For Future and 350 New Hampshire are working to close the state’s last coal power plant in Bow and urging Governor Chris Sununu to take action on climate change and renewable energy.          Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • A Jaffrey group joined the worldwide climate strike on Friday morning. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

New Hampshire Bulletin
Published: 9/27/2021 3:56:53 PM

Climate strikes in Concord and around the state on Friday pushed for more aggressive state and federal action on climate change, as a part of a series of coordinated actions happening throughout the state and world.

A youth-led group called Fridays for Future reported over 300 strikes in North America and nearly 1,000 in Europe. Six strikes were organized in New Hampshire, including Concord, North Conway, Portsmouth, Durham, Nashua, and Jaffrey.

Youth leaders in New Hampshire criticized the state for its inaction in addressing climate change and called for the closure of the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow. They also pushed for more wind power to meet New Hampshire’s energy needs. The plant in Bow does not run consistently but is part of what’s called the capacity market, meaning that it’s used when energy demand is especially high and can’t be met with other sources of energy.

Speakers at the strike pointed to the congressional budget reconciliation process as one avenue for making meaningful change. The reconciliation bill would provide funding for renewable energy and climate resiliency investments, although it was stripped of language that would end subsidies for fossil fuels. Activists also said they wanted the state to commit to a plan for reaching net-zero carbon emissions within a meaningful timeframe.

Seventeen-year-old climate activist Lilly Tague-Bleau from Manchester said the burden of addressing climate change should be on corporations that are contributing the most to carbon emissions. Tague-Bleau sees that kind of change happening only through legislation.

Tague-Bleau said she was there to “hold them accountable.”

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