LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR
Dear Honorable Governor Lujan-Grisham,
In New Mexico we have incredible renewable energy resources. We also have long-standing cultural traditions of protecting and stewarding our beautiful environment on which our communities depend. We appreciate the positive steps your administration has taken to advance renewable energy and increase fuel efficiency standards. We appreciate your January 2019 Executive Order for New Mexico to join the US Climate Alliance that upholds the 2015 Paris Climate Accord and for creating the New Mexico Climate Change Task Force, calling on all state agencies to contribute to a statewide climate strategy. However, in the last year, we have seen increased oil and gas production from our state and do not believe we are on track to meet carbon reduction goals nor end our dependence on fossil fuel revenues. We need a comprehensive plan to achieve carbon neutrality in the state of New Mexico and we need it now.
As you may know, the world’s leading scientists have warned that we have only a decade to drastically reduce our carbon emissions or face the existential threat of runaway climate disruption. In New Mexico, we are already experiencing increased drought, water scarcity, and wildfires. Around the world, we are seeing the devastating impacts of severe weather events and increased temperatures caused by climate change including death, injury, food & water shortages, forced displacement, extremely costly damage to infrastructure and people’s homes, ecological collapse, and the beginning of the 6th mass extinction. We are faced with a climate emergency and we need to start acting like it.
All our lives we’ve heard about the impending climate collapse threatening our future, yet very little, almost nothing has been done. And, in fact, while indigenous and other land-based communities have been warning of the impacts on ecosystems and experiencing the horrors on the frontlines of extraction, and scientists have been warning government leaders about the threat of climate disruption for over 40 years, older generations have continued to burn fossil fuels at increasing rates and have run out the clock for the rest of us.
Finally, for the very first time in our lifetimes, the world is taking serious action. But it is not the politicians who we elected to work for us who are sounding the alarms and taking swift action to protect us. Nor is it the adults who’ve used up our carbon budgets who are taking responsibility to redress the negative impacts of our current energy systems. It’s the kids - scared for our future and fed-up with the inaction of those who came before us.
On Friday, September 20th and in the week following, over 7.5 million young people around the world sent a powerful message -- we will no longer accept a business as usual approach to the climate crisis. We have declared a climate emergency and we are calling on our government leaders, like you, to follow our lead. More than 5,000 students from across Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Silver City, Española, Taos, Farmington and Indigenous Nations in the region walked out of their classrooms and took to the streets to demand urgent action.
Collectively along with our adult allies and partnered groups across the state, we call on you to take urgent action;
Immediately declare a Climate Emergency in the State of New Mexico
Create A Just Transition Fund from Oil & Gas Revenues to support the research, planning, and implementation necessary to end NM's dependence on fossil fuel revenues, to achieve carbon neutrality for our state by 2040, and build a sustainable economy that works for all New Mexicans -- no more sacrifice zones.
Pass a moratorium on fracking to protect our water and our health and preserve the countless sacred Indigenous sites threatened by fracking.
Pass community solar legislation by 2020.
Ensure New Mexico is powered by 100% renewable energy by 2030.
The science is clear. We only have a few years left to rapidly shift to a carbon neutral economy. We see the extraction of fossil fuels in New Mexico as a threat to our future, and we recognize that our state is ripe with potential for renewable resources. New Mexico can be a leader in the necessary shift to a carbon neutral economy with the leadership of our elected officials. So we call on you, as our Governor, to help us achieve this. We ask you to declare a climate emergency in the state of New Mexico today. Further, we ask you to take action in the next month to demonstrate your commitment to implementing our public policy demands. Please meet with us before October 30th and share with us how you plan to treat the climate crisis as the emergency it is.
Thank you for sharing our concern for our future and we are looking forward to working with you as we fight to protect it and all life on Earth.
YUCCA (Youth United for Climate Crisis Action) with the Climate Strike Northern NM and the ABQ Climate Strike Youth Organizers.