Climate Change: It’s Up to You New York, New York

The juggernaut that is A Call to the Bar: Lawyers for Common Sense on Climate Change hit the Big Apple in a big way on May 14, 2015, as volunteers Yolanda Pagano and Steve Harvey met with the Environmental Committee of the New York City Bar Association to discuss why lawyers should take a leadership role on climate change.

We were too late. Lawyers in New York are already leading the way. In 2009, the NYC Bar Association endorsed a Statement of Principles calling for strong government action on climate change, including carbon pricing, without which we will never control our future.

Yolanda Pagano

Yolanda Pagano

And in September 2014, right after the huge climate rally in New York, the NYC Bar Association hosted a program that featured New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who made some of the strongest statements heard yet about lawyers taking a stance on climate change.

  • “while the evidence and the technical solutions for dealing with climate change may come to us from scientists and engineers, it will be public officials, lawyers and activists who will determine how – or if – those solutions get implemented.”
  • “we all need to ratchet up our creativity and our outreach to make it clear for everyone to understand, and easy for everyone to understand, that climate change is already affecting each of us, it’s affecting our communities, it’s affecting our friends and family, and that it will get worse very quickly if we do not mobilize to demand action both from the government and from leaders in the private sector.”
  • “We’re not going to see real action from politicians and business leaders until we create a much broader shift in public consciousness.”

Hear him. Hear him.

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left to right: Mike Mahoney, Jeff Smith, Stephen G. Harvey

 

Hats off to the NYC Bar Association and its Environmental Committee (chaired by the estimable Mike Mahoney of Pfizer) for being out front on climate change. And thank you Attorney General Schneiderman. We need many more elected officials with your understanding and passion on this critical issue, regardless of political stripe.