Metrofocus: April 20, 2022

A PERIL & PROMISE SPECIAL REPORT:

TONIGHT, REAL LIFE SOLUTIONS FOR COMBATTING THE CLIMATE CRISIS. HOW YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE PLANET FROM HOME. PLUS MEET THE YOUNGEST WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR EVER WHO’S LEADING THE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE FIGHT. 

Just this month the United Nations warned that Earth is on track to become unlivable unless the global community takes serious action to curb greenhouse gasses. The fight to mitigate and adapt to climate change can feel overwhelming when you hear statements like that but there is hope for New York and saving the planet. In honor of Earth Day this week, we’re bringing you real life solutions to help combat the climate crisis from home. Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy in New York, Bill Ulfelder shares the lifestyle tips and changes you can make right now to protect the planet.

At 19, Jerome Foster II is the youngest White House Advisor ever. In March he was appointed to President Joe Biden’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council. He was a keynote speaker at the COP26 Conference in Glasgow. Tonight he joins us to talk about the impact of climate change on the world, particularly marginalized peoples. Join us for this important discussion on the policies he’s advocating for within the Biden administration and on why he believes Generation Z is the generation most impacted by the climate crisis.

Peril and Promise is an ongoing series of reports on the human impact of, and solutions for, Climate Change. Lead funding for Peril and Promise is provided by Dr. P. Roy Vagelos and Diana T. Vagelos. Major support is provided by Marc Haas Foundation and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III.

TRANSCRIPT

TONIGHT, REAL-LIFE SOLUTIONS FOR COMBATTING THE CLIMATE CRISIS.

HOW YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE PLANET FROM HOME, PLUS MEET THE YOUNGEST WHITE HOUSE ADVISER EVER WHO IS LEADING THE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE FIGHT.

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪ ♪ ♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION, AND BY --

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENA FLANAGAN.

JUST THIS MONTH THE WORLD MAY BE UNLIVABLE UNLESS THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY STARTS TAKING SERIOUS AK.

THE FIGHT TO MITT GATE AND ADAPT A CLIMATE CHANGE CAN FEEL OVERMELMING WHEN YOU HEAR STATEMENTS LIKE THAT AND THE RECENT STORMS THAT SLAMMED THE TRI-STATE, BUT THERE IS HOPE FOR SAVING THE PLANET IN HONOR OF EARTH DAY THIS WEEK AND WE'RE BRINGING YOU RELL-LIFE SOLUTIONS AND STEPS YOU CAN TAKE AT HOME TO COMBAT THE CRISIS.

TO HELP US DO THAT IT IS OUR PLEASURE TO WELCOME BACK BILL OLFELDER FROM NEW YORK.

HE JOINS US AS PART OF THE INITIATIVE ON THE HUMAN STORIES OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS SOLUTIONS.

BILL, IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK ON THE SHOW.

THANKS, JENA.

IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE DURING THE WEEK OF EARTH DAY AND APRIL'S EARTH MONTH.

SO, THANKS.

OF COURSE.

OF COURSE.

AS I MENTIONED IN THE INTRO, IT SEEMS AT THIS POINT THAT EVERYTHING WE'RE HEARING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ACTION THAT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN, IT FEELS LIKE WE'RE FPAST THE LER11th HO AND IT FEELS INCREDIBLY OVERWHELMING AND WHAT IS THE SUGGESTION FOR PEOPLE ESPECIALLY THOSE FOLLOWING THE CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUE AND THE FACT THAT SCIENTISTS KEEP SAYING WE HAVEN'T DONE ENOUGH.

HOW DO WE COMBAT THE FEELING EVER PARALYZING FEAR?

WELL, THE FIRST THING I WANT FOLKS TO THINK ABOUT IS THE ORIGINAL EARTH DAY IN 197052 YEARS AGO AND REAL PROGRESS WAS MADE.

SO I WANT TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT WHEN WE BAND TOGETHER AND FOCUS ON THE RIGHT THINGS WE CAN MAKE REAL PROGRESS.

SO OUT OF THE ORIGINAL EARTH DAY CAME THE CLEAN WATER ACT AND THE CLEAN AIR ACT AND THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT AND THE CREATION OF THE ASCPA AND ALL OF THESE THINGS FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED THE UNITED STATES.

WE HAVE BREATHABLE AIR NOW.

RIVERS AREN'T CATCHING ON FIRE.

THE HUDSON IS FAR CLEANER TODAY THAN IT WAS 50 YEARS AGO.

WE DON'T SEE OFTEN THE BALD EAGLE SPECIES LIKE THAT ARE NOW HUNTING IN CENTRAL PARK.

THESE ARE ALL THINGS THAT LITERALLY 52 YEARS AGO SEEMED UNIMAGINABLE, AND SO THERE IS THE REAL PROSPECT FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE.

I THINK THE CHALLENGE, AS YOU SAID ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE IS IT IS SO BIG AND IT'S HARDER TO SEE.

SO AGAIN, THINKING ABOUT THOSE SMOGGY SKY, THOSE BURNING RIVERS, AND DYING WILD LIFE, BUT I THINK WITH CLIMATE CHANGE THOSE EFFECTS ARE CATCHING UP TO US.

THE DROUGHT, THE WILDFIRES AND THE FLOODING AND THE MORE PEOPLE ARE EXPERIENCING THAT PAIN AND THAT LOSS, THE MORE ACTIVE AND DETERMINED THEY'RE GOING TO BE AND THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS WE CAN DO, AND AS I REMIND FOLKS, THERE'S NO BETTER PLACE TO BE PROBABLY IN THE WORLD THAN NEW YORK TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TOWARDS CLIMATE CHANGE GIVEN CITY COMMITMENTS, PARTICULARLY STATE COMMITMENTS AND WHAT A LOT OF NEW YORKERS CAN DO IN THEIR DAILY LIVES.

AND THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO ADDRESS THERE ISSUE, BUT SPEAKING ABOUT WHAT WE EACH CAN INDIVIDUALLY DO, I THINK SOMETIMES PEOPLE HAVE HEARD CONFLICTING INFORMATION LIKE THAT RECYCLING ACTUALLY ISN'T AS BENEFICIAL FOR THE PLANET AS WE'VE HEARD OR THAT ACTUALLY IS THE CARBON FOOTPRINT YOU CREATED BY USING CANVAS BAGS IS SOMETIMES WORSE THAN USING PAPER BAGS.

HOW DO PEOPLE NAVIGATE THE CONFLICTING INFORMATION JUST ABOUT THE PERSONAL STEPS THAT THEY CAN TAKE?

YEAH.

I THINK -- SO THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT AND BOTH THINGS ARE IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US TO REMEMBER AND ON THE ONE HAND THERE ARE SYSTEM LEVEL CHANGES THAT HAVE TO HAPPEN IN THE POLICY LEVEL, AND AT THE REGULATORY LEVEL SO IT DOESN'T ALL FALL TO US AS INDIVIDUALS IN OUR ACTIONS, BUT OUR INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS DO MATTER.

THEY REALLY DO, AND I WANT TO REMIND NEW YORKERS THAT THE VERY FIRST THING THAT HELPS IN A SUSTAINABLE LOWER CARBON POLLUTION PLANET IS JUST BY BEING IN NEW YORK.

SO SOME OF THESE THINGS THAT WE DO IN OUR DAILY LIVES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

SO TAKING PUBLIC TRANSIT INSTEAD OF DRIVING.

TH OF COURSE, PEOPLE IN THE PANDEMIC HAVE TURNED TO THEIR CARS AND WE'VE SEEN AN INCREASE IN BIKE RIDERSHIP AND IT'S EXPLODING ACROSS THE CITY.

SO ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO REDUCE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT AND OUR DAILY COMMUTE AND TRANSIT.

YES, THERE'S, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE DIFFERENT RETURNS ON INVESTMENT FOR THINGS LIKE RECYCLING PROGRAMS, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY THE MORE THAT WE COLLECTIVELY DO TOWARDS THAT, WE SEND MARKET SIGNALS OUT THERE THAT THERE IS A REAL CONSUMER DEMAND THAT THE SERVICE HAS PROVIDED.

DEFINITELY RECYCLE AND DEFINITELY COMPOST.

THAT TAKES A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF WASTE OUT OF THE WASTE STREAM, AND THEN THERE ARE THINGS WE CAN DO IN OUR DAILY LIVES LIKE JUST TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE.

I MAKE A POINT OF IT WHEN I'M HAVE SAI VISITING WITH FRIENDS AND OTHERS IS JUST TO TALK ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND WHAT ARE THE VALUES THAT UNITE US AND HOW TAKING CLIMATE CHANGE IS IMPORTANT TO SUSTAIN THOSE THINGS AND THEN ALSO JUST GETTING OUT IN NATURE.

I MEAN, WE SAW AN EXPLOSION IN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE GOING TO NEW YORK CITY PARKS OR, YOU KNOW, PROTECTED AREAS AND PRESERVES ALL ACROSS THE STATE AT THE NATURE CONSERVANCY, IT IS UP 300% AND GET OUT IN NATURE AND CONNECT TO NATURE.

THAT INSPIRES YOU.

IT WILL LIFT YOUR SPIRITS AND THEN THAT WILL RENEW YOUR COMMITMENT TO TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE.

SO LOTS OF VITAMIN N, AS I LIKE TO SAY, FROM NATURE.

IT'S INTERESTING WHEN YOU MENTIONED JUST THE NATURE OF BEING IN NEW YORK.

OF COURSE, FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE IN NEW YORK CITY THERE ARE OPTIONS LIKE A CITY BIKE AND PERHAPS, YOU KNOW, GREENER BUILDINGS AND FOR PEOPLE IN THE REST OF THE STATE THERE ARE OPTIONS LIKE SOLAR PANELS ON YOUR HOME, ET CETERA, HOWEVER, I DO WANT TO ASK AND ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT FOR PROCRASTINATING AMERICANS LIKE MYSELF, THOSE OF US WHO HAVE DONE OUR TAXES RECENTLY WERE VERY, VERY AWARE OF THE FACT THAT SO MANY OF THOSE THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO, THERE'S A FINANCIAL BARRIER FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, AND THAT PERHAPS, WHICH SHOULD GIVE BACK AT LEAST FINANCIALLY, MONETARILY, DOESN'T REFLECT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT YOU HAD TO PUT UP FRONT AND SO THAT CAN ALSO BE -- IT CAN FEEL LIKE A DETERRENT FOR SOME PEOPLE.

I THINK IN SOME WAY, THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE'S SOME HELP THAT'S ON THE WAY AND AGAIN, THIS GOES BACK TO MY COMMENT ABOUT IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE PLANET AND YOU CARE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, THERE'S PROBABLY NO BETTER PLACE TO LIVE THAN NEW YORK AND SO NEW YORK JUST PASSED ITS STATE BUDGET EARLIER THIS MONTH IN EARTH MONTH AND THERE ARE SOME MASSIVE COMMITMENTS THAT ARE GOING TO MAKE OUR LIVES EASIER IN TERMS OF DOING THE RIGHT THING AND FEELING, I THINK, THAT RETURN AND GETTING A REAL RETURN ON IT.

SO I WOULD DIVIDE IT INTO TWO CATEGORIES, SO ONE IS THE STATE BUDGET INCLUDES A $4.2 BILLION BOND ACT CALLED THE CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR BOND ACT AND THIS IS ALL ABOUT INVESTING BILLIONS OR IN SOME INSTANCES THREE-QUARTERS, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN THE CLIMATE MITIGATION SO REDUCING CARBON POLLUTION AND THE SECOND IS ADAPTATION AND RESILIENCY AND HOW WE PREPARE FOR THIS CLIMATE CHANGING WORLD THAT WE'RE HEARING ABOUT IN THE IPCC REPORT AND THEN MASSIVE MULTIHUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENTS IN CLEAN WATER AND OPEN SPACE WHICH ACTUALLY ALL RELATE TO THE WELL-BEING OF NEW YORKERS AND OUR ABILITY TO GET THAT RETURN ON INVESTMENT WHICH YOU'RE SDRIEK.

AND THEN THERE'S THE REGULAR STATE BUDGET, SO THIS ISN'T THE SPECIAL BOND ACT THAT WILL BE ON THE BALLOT THIS FALL, BUT I HOPE THAT EVERYBODY REMEMBERS THIS EARTH DAY AND EARTH MONTH AND TURNS THE BALLOT OVER AND VOTES YES ON THE BOND ACT, BUT THERE WERE THINGS LIKE MAJOR COMMITMENTS AND HALF A BILLION DOLLARS OF BUILDING WIND TURBINES AS THE OFFSHORE AND ONSHORE WIND ENERGY EFFORT IN THE STATE AND THERE ARE ALSO PROTECTIONS FOR MILLIONS FOR WETLANDS AND THESE ARE THINGS THAT WE KIND OF MISS GOING ABOUT OUR DAILY LIVES, BUT AS WE LIKE TO SAY AT THE NATURE CONSERVANCY.

THESE ARE LIKE THE KIDNEYS OF THE PLANET.

THEY FILTER THE RUNOFF AND CLEAN WATER FOR OUR COMMUNE SXITS ALSO WILD LIFE.

THIS HAS BEEN SOMETHING THAT'S BEEN DEBATED BY NEW YORK STATE FOR YEARS AND YEARS, AND NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF JUST HOW IMPORTANT THOSE WETLANDS ARE WITH PROTECTIONS.

AND THEN SOME ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FUND AND ADDITIONAL MONIES FOR CLEAN WATER INFRASTRUCTURE.

SO NEW YORK IS PUTTING ITS MONEY WHERE ITS MOUTH IS.

IT'S REALLY TRYING TO WALK THAT CLIMATE CHANGE TALK AND IT'S EXCITING TO SEE.

SO I THINK WE'RE GOING TO SEE SOME OF THESE THINGS EVOLVE OVER TIME AS NEW YORK INCREASINGLY MAKES THESE SMART INVESTMENTS.

I THINK THAT'S ALL REALLY INSPIRING TO HEAR.

HOWEVER, NEW YORK IS JUST ONE STATE IN THE UNION OF 50 AND AMERICA IS JUST ONE COUNTRY IN THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY.

I GUESS THEN MY NEXT QUESTION WOULD BE IF ALL THE STATES AREN'T EVEN ONBOARD TO BE AS AGGRESSIVE AND PROGRESSIVE AS NEW YORK IS, THEN WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY?

BECAUSE THE U.N. WARNING WAS ABOUT THE ENTIRE PLANET.

RIGHT.

IT IS AN IMPORTANT OBSERVATION, AND I MEAN, I'LL SAY WHAT I WORRY ABOUT AND THEN WHEN I SEE SOME HOPE.

THE OTHER THING THAT DEFINED EARTH DAY IN 1970 WAS IT WAS A NON-PARTISAN OR YOU CAN ARGUE BACK IN THE DAY, A BIPARTISAN EFFORT ASK DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS TOGETHER, WAS PRESIDENT NIXON CREATED FOR THE USEPA.

I DON'T THINK HE WAS WILD ABOUT CREATING IT IN THE MOMENT AND HE SAW POLITICAL FORCES, THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

THIS IS A NECESSITY FOR OUR COUNTRY.

OBVIOUSLY, WE ARE SO POLARIZED.

SO WHAT I THINK IT TAKES IN THIS WORLD ARE THE EXAMPLES AND SO THE THINGS THAT NEW YORK IS DOING, WE AT THE NATURE CONSERVANCY, WE OPERATE IN ALL 50 STATES AND WE OPERATE IN OKLAHOMA, MISSOURI AS WELL AS WASHINGTON AND OKLAHOMA.

SO WHEN NEW YORK IS LEADING THE WAY IN THINGS LIKE THE BOND ACT OR ANOTHER GREAT EXAMPLE IS IT IS SOON TO BE IMPLEMENTING CONGESTION PRICING SO IF YOU DRIVE YOUR CAR INTO MANHATTAN DURING CERTAIN HOURS OF THE DAY IT WILL BE CHARGED A SURCHARGE.

THAT WILL GENERATE ABOUT A BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT.

SUBWAYS, BUSSES, LONG ISLAND RAIL RAILROAD AND METRO NORTH.

THE FEES WILL REDUCE COMMISSIONS AND IT WILL GENERATE RESOURCES TO FURTHER INVEST IN PUBLIC TRANSIT.

THE NUMBER OF STATES AND CITIES THAT ARE LOOKING OVER OUR SHOULDER AT HOW THIS GETS IMPLEMENTED BECAUSE THEY'RE INTERESTED IN THIS IN MIAMI, IN LOS ANGELES, IN SEATTLE AND OTHER PLACES.

SO I THINK NEW YORK REALLY IS THIS LEADING, SORT OF BEACON IN HOW DO YOU GET TO NETZERO EMISSIONS BY 2050 AND WE CAN PROVIDE A ROAD MAP.

THERE ARE FOLKS IN THE BOYDEN ADMINISTRATION'S SECRETARY OF ENERGY WAS IN NEW YORK AND SHE SAID VERY CLEARLY.

NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE IS PROVIDING THE BLUEPRINT FOR THE NATION.

WE'LL BE DUKING IT OUT POLITICALLY HERE FOR YEARS TO COME, BUT YOU'RE STARTING TO SEE A SHIFT IN THE BUILD BACK BETTER AND THE INVESTMENT IN NATURAL INFRASTRUCTURE AS A PART OF INFRASTRUCTURE.

THESE ARE MAJOR SHIFTS WE'RE SEEING.

SO AGAIN, THERE'S NO BETTER PLACE TO BE THAN IN NEW YORK FOR WHAT THE DIFFERENCE WE'RE MAKING HERE LOCALLY, BUT ALSO THE EXAMPLE WE SET NATIONALLY TO OTHERS AND GLOBALLY.

WELL, BILL, YOU KNOW, I SAY THIS LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY TO THE SUBJECT THAT WEIR DISCUSS WE ARE DISCUSSING, BUT WE ARE OUT OF TIME AND I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR GIVING US SOMETHING POSITIVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE RECENT U.N.

REPORT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

ONCE AGAIN, BILL OLFELDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR THE CONSERVANCY IN NEW YORK.

THANKS, JENA.

ALWAYS GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

IS.

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M JACK FORD.

THOSE IN GENERATION Z HAVE GROWN UP WITH THE DRAMATIC EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT NO GENERATION HAS BEEN MORE VOCAL ABOUT THE URGENCY OF ACTING NOW ON THE CLIMATE CRISIS.

UNTIL RECENTLY, THAT YOUNGER JEN RASH ARE GENERATION HAS HAD LITTLE POLITICAL POWER TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT, BUT THAT APPEARS TO BE CHANGING.

OUR NEXT GUEST IS PART OF A NEW WAVE OF YOUNG LEADERS WHO NOW HAVE A VOICE IN THE PLACES WHERE POLICY AND DECISIONS ARE MADE, PLACES LIKE THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE RECENT CLIMATE SUMMIT IN SCOTLAND.

JEROME FOSTER II IS AN AN ADVISER AND AT 19, HE'S THE YOUNGEST WHITE HOUSE ADVISER IN U.S. HISTORY.

HE JOINS US NOW AS PART OF OUR ONGOING PERIL AND PROMISE INITIATIVE REPORTING ON THE HUMAN STORIES OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS SOLUTIONS.

JEROME, WELCOME.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

PLEASURE TO BE HERE.

WE'RE GLAD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

I KNOW YOU'VE BEEN PRETTY HECTIC THE LAST FEW WEEKS PF YOU'VE BEEN IN GLASGOW AND WE TALKED ABOUT THE WORK YOU WERE DOING WITH THE ADMINISTRATION.

BEFORE WE GET TO THAT, LET'S GIVE PEOPLE A SENSE OF YOU AND YOUR BACKGROUND AND I MENTIONED YOUR AGE.

WHEN AND WHY WAS IT THAT YOU BECAME SO ENGAGED WITH THE STRUGGLE OVER CLIMATE CHANGE?

ABSOLUTELY.

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE CLIMATE JUSTICE MOVEMENT AND FOR ME PERSONALLY, HOW I GOT INVOLVE SIDE BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT CLIMATE IS SUCH A PRESSING ISSUE FOR MY GENERATION.

WE ARE GROWING INTO A WORLD THAT WE WERE TOLD WHEN WE WERE YOUNGER IS IN THE PROCESS OF DYING.

WE'VE BEEN GROWN INTO A SYSTEM WHERE A LOT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AROUND US IS CONTINUING TO DESTABILIZE BECAUSE OF WILDFIRES, EARTH KWASHGS SO MANY THINGS THAT ARE CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE, AND THAT MOMENT THAT WE'RE IN RIGHT NOW IS WHAT ENERGIZED ME TO TAKE AK BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH I'M NOT A COMMUNITY THAT'S BEING IMPACTED THE MOST BY THE CLIMATE CRISIS, IT WAS THE EMPATHY AND SEEING COMMON HUMANS THAT WERE HAVING THE SAME EXPERIENCE AND I WANTED TO ORGANIZE AND MAKE SURE THEIR VOICE WAS HEARD, AS WELL.

WE MENTIONED HOW YOUR GENERATION IS IN MANY WAYS, THE VOICES THAT NEED TO BE HEARD TO DRIVE CHANGE.

I DID MENTION IN THE INTRODUCTION, YOU HAD BEEN AT THE SUMMIT IN GLASGOW.

YOU SPOKE THERE.

CAN YOU GIVE US A QUICK SUMMARY, IF YOU WOULD, HEADLINE, IF YOU WOULD, OF WHAT CAME OUT OF THAT SIGN?

SO THE CONFERENCE AND THE PARTY OF WHAT HAPPENED IN GLASGOW OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS CONCLUDED AND BASICALLY MARGINAL TO NO ACTION.

WHAT THE INTENTION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES WAS IS TO RE-VISIT THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENTS WHICH PRIORITIES WERE FOCUSING ON LIMITING THE 1.5 DEGREES CELSIUS, BUT RIGHT NOW THE WORLD IS ON TRACK TO 2.4 DEGREES AND ITS MAIN FOCUS IS TO LIMIT THAT AND TO MAKE SURE THAT COUNTRIES ARE HELD TO ACCOUNT.

THAT WAS THE MAIN FOCUS, AND THERE WERE NO ACTUAL COMMANDS.

INDIA, AND THEY WOULD BE CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2030, WHEN THE CONSENSUS IS 2030, AND SHE CAME WITH ANOTHER TARGET AND THAT WAS THE BIGGEST STRUGGLE THAT WER TRIING TO GET OVER, AND WE TOLD HER TO PUT WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE FUTURE IS SAFE AND WE DON'T HAVE TO CONTINUE TO HAVE THESE CONFERENCES WHERE VERY LITTLE HAPPENS IN THE END.

I KNOW WHEN I TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THE CONFERENCES, YOU HAVE FOLKS ROLLING THEIR EYES SAYING OH, GREAT, ANOTHER CONFERENCE.

THERE WERE GOOD INTENTIONS AND SOME MOVEMENT AND CERTAINLY NOT WHAT EVERYBODY HAD ANTICIPATED.

SO LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT WE'RE DOING IN THE U.S. AND LET'S FOCUS A LITTLE BIT OF YOUR INVOLVEMENT, AND I MENTIONED WITH THE WHITE HOUSE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ADVISORY COUNCIL.

TELL US WHAT THAT IS AND HOPEFULLY THE GOALS OF THE COUNCIL SO FAR?

THE WHITE HOUSE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ADVISORY COUNCIL HAVE THREE MAIN TARGETS.

THE PRIMARY IS FOCUSING ON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE WHICH IS PRIORITY ON DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES AND MAKING SURE THAT IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE FEDERAL AGENCY WE HAVE A WHOLE OF GOVERNMENT APPROACH AND MAKING SURE THAT IT IS PRIORITIZED IN OUR BUDGETING AND HOW WE MOVE FORWARD AS A COUNTRY, AND WHEN WE TALK ABOUT WHAT THIS COUNCIL IS WORKING ON OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS THAT WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON WITH THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, WE HAVE WORKED ON THE INITIATIVE WHERE WE AS AN ADMINISTRATION MADE A COMMITMENT THAT EVERY FEDERAL AGENCY HAS TO COMMIT 40% OF THE BUDGETS TO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS AND THAT'S WHAT THE PRODUCTS THEY'RE WORKING ON NOW AND WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER CRUCIAL MEETING ON NOVEMBER 17th ON 2021 TO REVISIT WHAT WORK WE'VE DONE SO FAR, AND LOOK AT WHAT THE NEXT SIX MONTHS FOR THIS ADMINISTRATION.

GIVE US A BETTER SENSE OF THIS NOTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE BECAUSE I SUSPECT THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE OUT THERE SAYING I UNDERSTAND FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE AND I UNDERSTAND EMISSIONS AND I UNDERSTAND THE NOTION OF PROVIDING FUNDING FOR THOSE NATIONS WHO WANT TO DO ALL OF THIS, BUT DON'T HAVE THE FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND THEY MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE.

WHEN WE BREAK DOWN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE, REALLY WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS NOT JUST A SCIENTIFIC DILEMMA OR JUST A MATHEMATICAL PROBLEM THAT WE'RE IN THAT WE JUST HAPPEN TO EMIT CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE AND NOW IT'S CAUSING HAVOC.

REALLY WHAT THE CRISIS AT THE ROOT OF IT IS IS THE CONTINUAL DESTABILIZATION OF THE CLIMATE AND THE CLIMATE SYSTEMS AROUND IT AND BECAUSE OF THAT, THE GLOBAL SOUTH IS BEING HIT FIRST AND WORSE.

RIGHT NOW, ACROSS THE AFRICAN CONTINENT AND ACROSS SOUTHEAST ASIA, THOSE COMMUNITIES ARE BEING HIT RIGHT NOW WITH THE CLIMATE CRISIS.

WE HAVE ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS THAT WOULD HAPPEN THIS YEAR AND IN THE GLOBAL NORTH AND WHERE WE SAY, NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE AND MOST OF THE NORTHERN ASIA, WE ARE SEEING THE MAJOR IMPACTS AND THAT'S WHAT ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IS ALL ABOUT IS MAKING SURE THAT COUNTRIES THAT HAVE EMITTED MOST OF THE CO2 IN WHICH THE GLOBAL NORTH COUNTRIES PAY THE CLIMATE DEBT BACK TO THE COUNTRIES THAT ARE BEING IMPACTED THE MOST AND CONTRIBUTED THE LEAST TO THIS PROBLEM AND ALSO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND LOOKING AT THE TIME LINE AND WHAT WE'RE FIGHTING FOR IN LOOKING AT THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE.

THE CLIMATE CRISIS STARTED WITH THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND IT STARTED WITH THE CONCEPT OF RACISM AND STARTED WITH THE CONCEPT OF COLONIALISM WHICH THEY SAID WE'LL, M EXPLOIT COMMUNITIES AND PEOPLE.

NOW WITH THE CLIMATE CRISIS THEY SAY WE'LL EXPLOIT NATURE AND THAT'S WHAT THE CLIMATE JUSTICE MOVEMENT IS ALL ABOUT.

LET'S DECOLONIZE OUR FRAMEWORK OF HOW THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM WORKS FROM A SYSTEM OF ETERNAL ECONOMIC GROWTH TO MORE ABOUT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN OUR ECONOMICS AND OUR POLITICS AND IN OUR SOCIETY AT LARGE.

I TALKED IN MY INTRODUCTION ABOUT THE POWER OF THE VOICE& F THE YOUTH, NOT JUST IN OUR COUNTRY, BUT THROUGHOUT THE PLANET, IF YOU -- WHY DO YOU THINK THERE SEEMS TO BE, AND THIS IS A BIT OF A GENERALIZATION.

I UNDERSTAND.

WHY DO YOU THINK THERE SEEMS TO BE MORE STRENGTH IN TERMS OF THE POWER OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE RATHER THAN THE POWER OF THE OLDER GENERATION?

I THINK THAT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE YOUTH, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED ABOUT WHY THERE'S BEEN SO MUCH YOUTH ORGANIZING AND IT'S BECAUSE OF THE ADULTS THAT WERE HERE.

IN THE 1970s PEOPLE ORGANIZED AND HAD THE BIGGEST MARCH IN U.S. HISTORY AND THAT WAS THE YOUTH THAT ORGANIZED IT.

IT'S ALWAYS BEEN YOUTH WHEN CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS SPEARHEADED IT THERE, AND THE LGBTQ MOVEMENT WHERE MARCY P.

JOHNSON ORGANIZED IN THE STREET.

YOUNG PEOPLE UNDERSTAND SYSTEMS BECAUSE THEY'RE GROWING UP AND SAYING THE SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING FOR US AND IT WON'T WORK FOR OUR FUTURE SO IT MUST CHANGE.

CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM HUMANITY HAS EVER FACED, BUT IT IS THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO GO TO OUR FOUNDATION SAYING WHAT DO WE WANT OUR SYSTEM AND OUR WORLD TO LOOK LIKE.

YOUNG PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT BETTER THAN ANYONE CAN BUZZ WE'RE JUST BEING ACCLIMATED TO THE SYSTEMS THAT WE'RE GROWING UP TO BECOME A PART OF.

LET ME COME BACK FOR A MOMENT TO THE GLASGOW SUMMIT.

YOU TALKED ABOUT THE FRUSTRATIONS AND YOU'VE SEEN A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WERE PARTICIPATING THERE.

ESSENTIALLY THE SAME FRUSTRATIONS THAT WE TALK ABOUT, WE CAME WITH CERTAIN GUILLAUMES AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, YOU CHANGE A ROLE THERE, AND DID YOU COME AWAY FEELING ANY SENSE OF OPTIMISM, BUT WE SEEMED TO BE CREATING SOME MOMENTO, SO MAYBE THE NEXT TIME?

DO YOU HAVE A SENSE OF OPTIMISM?

RIGHT NOW THE WORD ISN'T OPTIMISM, IT'S FRUSTRATION.

IF WE CONTINUE TO HAVE HOPELESS OPPORTUNITY MIFRM, THEN WHAT'S THE PRODUCTIVITY OF THAT?

RIGHT NOW IT'S FRUSTRATION AND IT'S BEING DISAPPOINTED IN THE PEOPLE THAT WE LOOKED TO THE AND VOTED FOR.

RIGHT NOW ACROSS THE WORLD, WORLD LEADERS WERE SUPPOSED TO COME TOGETHER AND HAVE A CONFERENCE TWO WEEKS TO NEGOTIATE WHAT THE FUTURE LOOKS LIKE, BUT INSTEAD THEY DID NOTHING.

WE HAD THREE DEMANDS IN COP 26, AND LIMIT IT TO 1.5 DEGREES CELSIUS WHICH WOULD HAVE US IN A SAFE CLIMATE AND TWO, TO STOP THE PHASE OUT ON THE CREATION OF COAL MINES AND STOP THE USAGE OF FOSSIL FUELS AND THREE IS TO END ALL SUBSIDIES FOR THE FOSSIL FUEL COULD STRE.

COP 26 TRIED -- IT WAS WEAKENED AND AD ASKING INEFFICIENT.

AND THOSE THAT WORKED INE NISHT SOMETIMES MAY SEEM LIKE IT IS NOT REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT IS INCREDIBLY FUSHL BECAUSE THEY'LL SAY, THE STRUGGEL THAT WE'RE IN NOW.

WYE ARE AREN'T TALKING ABOUT COP 27 RIGHT NOW.

COP 26 HAS JUST UNDERSTANDED AND IT IS IT IS A COMPLETE DISAPPOINTMENT AND BECAUSE OF THIS FALL YOU ARE WILL STEP UP OPINIUP.

IT'S BECAUSE OF THEIR LEADERSHIP AND THAT'S TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE BEING DISPLACED FROM THEIR HOMES.

THAT'S REAL LIVES AND THAT'S NOT A MATHEMATICAL PROBLEM AND THAT'S WHY THE VOTE WILL TALLY UP AGAINST THEM IF THEY DON'T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.

I HAVE LITERALLY LESS THAN A MINUTE LEFT AND I DO WANT TO TOUCH BASE WITH YOU, THE ORGANIZATION THAT YOU'RE INVOLVED IN IS ONE MILLION OF US.

WHAT'S PURPTHE PURPOSE OF THAT.

I WAS IN CONGRESS FOR CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS WHO WAS A VOTING RIGHTS ICON HIMSELF AND BECAUSE OF THE OFFICE AND MY INTERNSHIP, WHY DON'T WE MOBILIZE THE NUMBERS OF YOUNG PEOPLE ON THE STREETS AND FACTUALLY, 7.9 MILLION YOUNG PEOPLE, AND WE WHY DON'T WE TURN THEM INTO AT LEAST ONE MILLION IN THE UNITED STATES TO GET OUT TO THE POLLS AND THAT'S WHEN WE DID FROM 2019 TO 2020.

WE ORGANIZED ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA AND EVEN THROUGH A PANDEMIC AND WE MADE OUR VOICES HEARD AND BECAUSE OF THAT, YOUNG PEOPLE MADE UP ONE IN EVERY FIVE VOTES.

AND THAT'S -- THAT'S AN EXTRAORDINARY ACCOMPLISHMENT AND HOPEFULLY IT WILL MOVE FORWARD CONTINUOUSLY.

JER OM FOSTER, THANK YOU FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US AND THANK YOU FOR THE WORK YOU'RE DOING, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING WITH YOU DOWN THE ROAD.

YOU BE WELL.

THANK YOU.

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> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION, AND BY -- ♪ ♪ ♪

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