New York State’s Got Climate Goals! Plus, New Yorker climate champ, Belinda Chiu. Adapt2Clima taakes the 2021 Life Awards, and saving the planet with Ghanaian Betty Osei Bonsu.
New York State’s Got Climate Goals! New Yorker Climate Champ–Belinda Chiu, Adapt2Clima Takes the Life Awards, Betty Osei Bonsu is Saving the Planet
NEW YORK STATE LEADS THE NATION IN CLIMATE CHANGE GOALS
New York State gets it. According to the official website of New York state government, “Climate change is a reality. New York is fighting it. Our future is at stake. That’s why New York State is committed to the most aggressive clean energy and climate agenda in the country.”
As reported by The Climate Daily, then Gov. Cuomo signed into law the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) back in 2019. The goal of that legislation is to reduce emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and then to 85% below 1990 levels by 2050.
That’s why current Governor Hochul recently formed New Yorks Climate Justice Working Group. It’s mission is to ensure all New Yorkers are represented in the State’s transition to a cleaner energy future, and they also benefit from investments and opportunities provided by this historic transition.
Why does the NY climate goals matter to us? NY one the top ten of CO2 emissions generating states in the union. If its administration believes a clean environment and protecting our natural resources are critical to its economy, while ensuring its communities are healthy and prosperous is worth the fight, so can the other 49.
After all, only together can we protect public health and preserve our environment for generations to come. Governor Hochul wants to “make real progress on climate change, it’s time to tackle major sources of pollution head-on.”
NEW YORKER BELINDA CHIU, CLIMATE CHANGE CHAMPION
In July 2020, food scrap drop-off sites in New York suspended operations due to COVID. Residents from the five boroughs scrambled to find alternative locations to drop off their food scraps to be composted. Belinda Chiu, a New York native and climate advocate, saw the need and created the NYC Food Scrap Drop-Off tracker. Chiu crowdsources information from Twitter, Instagram, word-of-mouth, and emails to power her tracker.
According to Chiu’s website, The tracker has been “shared over 10,000 times, including by Representative Ocasio-Cortez.” Chiu’s tracker stems from her passion for living a low-impact lifestyle and her aim to lower her ecological footprint through daily actions and habits. As a social and behavioral science public health professional, Chiu tries to understand the motivations and barriers that keep the average person from practicing eco-friendly behaviors.
Prior to creating the NYC Food Scrap Drop-Off tracker, Chiu started a blog called “A Healthy Blueprint.” It’s a resource for individuals looking to reduce their environmental footprint and become changemakers in their communities. Why does Belinda Chiu matter to us? She’s an example of how an individual can play a large part in helping mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
Chiu says, I’m just “an individual who can make a change within my own household. And maybe I can inspire others to do the same and go from there.”
2021 LIFE AWARDS WINNER, ADAPT2CLIMA
The LIFE Awards recognize the most innovative, inspirational and effective LIFE projects in three categories: climate action, environment and nature protection. The LIFE Citizens’ Prize enables the general public to get to know the finalists and vote for their preferred candidate.
The LIFE Awards are sponsored by the European Commission’s LIFE program. The LIFE Program is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The LIFE Program is just one of the initiatives stemming from the EU’s European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
The 2021 Life Citizens’ Prize was recently announced, and the winner is….LIFE ADAPT2CLIMA! It was founded to help Mediterranean farmers adapt to climate change. Adapt2Clima is a Greece-based organization with pilot projects there, and in Italy and Cyprus, too.
According to LIFE Awards announcement, “Extreme weather events like droughts and storms are having a devastating impact on European agriculture. For many farmers, the damage and losses can threaten their very existence.
LIFE ADAPT2CLIMA showed how vulnerable agriculture in Crete, Sicily, and Cyprus is to climate change and suggested ways to adapt. The team came up with a set of climate, water and crop simulations to assess the sector’s future climate change challenges. These were integrated into the ADAPT2CLIMA tool that helps the islanders make the right climate adaptation decisions. The work culminated in tailor-made agricultural adaptation strategies for the three islands.
The overall aim of the LIFE ADAPT2CLIMA methodology is based on the deployment of a set of climate, hydrological and crop simulation models for the assessment of climate change impacts on agriculture, as well as, on the development of a decision support tool for the elaboration of adaptation strategies for the agricultural sector.
GHANA’S BETTY OSEI BONSU IS SAVING THE PLANET
Betty Osei Bonsu is a young environmentalist from Accra, Ghana. Upon witnessing the rapid loss of forests to unsustainable energy demands in her native country, Bonsu wrote the first paper in Ghana which focuses on renewable alternative energy using palm kernel shells.
Through the publication of that paper, she was asked to join the Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO). Her role is to champion sustainable energy transition for communities while reducing the rapid loss of forests. Bonsu does that as a project coordinator, responsible for the implementation and replication of the GAYO Sustainable Community Project (SCP).
She recently co-founded the Trees 4 Biodiversity initiative. Its aim is to restore native Ghanaian forests by planting indigenous trees. So far, that group has planted 5000 indigenous tree seedlings in Madina, a district of Accra. Not one to rest, Osei also co-founded the GAYO Eco Club, Campus Chapter. It now touts a membership of over 400 students.
Did we mention that Bonsu was nominated by the Ghana Government to attend COP26 in Glasgow to represent Ghana as a party delegate and discuss the issues of climate change?
Betty Osei Bonsu is clearly a mover and shaker, almost an intimidating person. So why does she matter to us? Because she’s aspirational. In her own words, “I aspire to be a global leader in the climate movement.”