Louisiana Judge Denies Formosa Plastics Air Permit, Billionaire Founder of Patagonia Gives it All Away to Save the Climate, Climate Week NYC 2022!

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Louisiana Judge Denies Formosa Plastics Air Permit, Billionaire Founder of Patagonia Gives it All Away to Save the Climate, Climate Week NYC 2022!



Guess what everybody?! It’s that time of year again. It’s Climate Week NYC 2022. According to that organization, this year marks its fourteenth year as the biggest global climate event of its kind. Bringing together the most influential leaders in climate action from business, government, and the climate community, in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly and the City of New York. Climate Week NYC creates an ambitious platform for our mission to drive climate action. Fast. 

Climate Week NYC is all about Getting It Done. This year, the two-day event is back in person, live from New York. It’ll explore global security, climate, and connected challenges. A main theme surrounds questioning what’s stopping USA from getting it done. Also how to rebuild a more equitable economy in the process. Other themes include:

  • Session one: Putting climate in context 
  • Session two: The cold truths for a warming world
  • Session three: Investing in equity and the economy

There’s also a Hub Live Stream component, the themes of which are:

To create a space for collaborating, connecting, and collectively tackling our most urgent climate challenges, now. Join us and let’s Get It Done, together. The Hub Live streams:

  • Built environment and industrial transition
  • Emerging trends for net zero
  • Energy and transport transition 
  • Finance and the green economy 
  • Food, nature, and biodiversity

Interested? Register at climateweeklynyc.org/event-search, or click on the links in the Deeper Dive section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.

Why does Climate Week NYC 2022 matter to us? Through celebrating climate action, challenging ourselves to do more, and exploring ways to increase ambition, Climate Week NYC inspires, amplifies and provides a global platform for connection and discussion.

DEEPER DIVE: ClimateWeekNYC, Registration, YouTube



Last week, the founder of Patagonia, reluctant billionaire, Yvon Chouinard, aged 83, announced he is giving away the company to a trust that will use its profitS to fight the climate crisis. Patagonia the company, and Chouinard the man are known for supporting environmental causes. 

According to his open letter on the Patagonia website,  Chouinard said he could have sold the brand – valued at $3bn, or taken it public. Instead, he, his wife and their two children agreed to turn over 100% of the company’s voting stock transfers to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, created to protect the company’s values. 

Additionally, 100% of the nonvoting stock has been given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature. The funding will come from Patagonia: Each year, the money it makes after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the climate crisis.

After the announcement, members of Patogania’s board celebrated the decision. Said board chair Charles Conn, “Instead of exploiting natural resources to make shareholder returns, we are turning shareholder capitalism on its head by making the Earth our only shareholder.”

And that’s why it matters to us. Patagonia is providing a clear example of how privately held companies can turn capitalism on its head by making the Earth our only shareholder. Chouinard went on to say in his open letter, As we began to witness the extent of global warming and ecological destruction, and our own contribution to it, Patagonia committed to using our company to change the way business was done. 

DEEPER DIVE: Patagonia Open Letter, Fortune, Al Jazeera, YouTube



As reported in 2021 by The Climate Daily, Sharon Lavigne of Rise St. James successfully fought to have the Army Corps of Engineers conduct a full environmental assessment of a $9.4 billion Formosa Plastics complex planned in Louisiana, drawing praise from environmentalists.

And just this past week, a judge has thrown out the air permit for a massive new plastics complex in St. James Parish, telling regulators to start from the beginning. It’s a major blow to the proposed $9.4 billion Formosa Plastics complex. Gov. John Bel Edwards and local leaders have praised the project, saying it could create 1,200 jobs and generate millions in tax revenue.

Said Sharon Lavigne,  “Stopping Formosa Plastics has been a fight for our lives, and today David has toppled Goliath.” In a scathing, 34-page ruling Wednesday, 19th Judicial District Judge Trudy White sided with the plaintiffs. She said the state Department of Environmental Quality wrongly approved the permit without doing a full environmental justice analysis to see if the plant would disproportionately affect minority communities. 

White wrote that DEQ did not live up to its own definition of environmental justice — that no group of people should bear a disproportionate negative impact from industry. “LDEQ’s definition of ‘fair treatment’ requires more of the agency than mere lip service or opportunities for public involvement,” White wrote, referencing a seminal state Supreme Court case on the agency’s public trust duty. “Rather, it demands ‘active and affirmative protection.'” 

Why does this matter to us?  The victory proves what environmental groups and marginalized communities have been saying all along. Formosa improperly dismissed the community’s concerns about the sort of disproportionate burden of air pollution in that part of St. James Parish. The victory gives hope to other environmental groups fighting the same climate injustice in their own backyards.

DEEPER DIVE: TCD on Sharon Lavigne, Rise St. James, NOLA, Northwest GA News