• Events

Local Government and Policy Making

Part of Festival Albertine 2019

As national governments fail to move at necessary speed, cities and towns are trying to fill the gap. New York City, the site of this gathering, is a perfect example. In the last few years it has enacted a bold ‘Green New Deal’ pledging to slash emissions from existing buildings. It has begun to work out a ‘congestion pricing’ scheme for automobiles. It has divested its pension holdings from fossil fuels. And it has sued the massive oil companies for their role in creating damages that taxpayers must now address. We’re seeing the same kinds of visionary steps from other civic leaders, including the government of Paris. Activists increasingly rely on local leaders for substantive change, if for no other reason than the power of the fossil fuel industry often does not penetrate to local levels. Is this kind of intervention widespread enough to matter? How can activists work to ensure that local governments treat the poorest and most vulnerable fairly, instead of—for instance—building dikes to protect Wall Street? And how can cities then influence decision-makers at national governments and in the fossil fuel industry?

With Cherry Foytlin, Clément Guerra, Jade Lindgaard, and Bryan Parras. Moderated by Bill McKibben. 

Free with RSVP. Click here to RSVP.

Bill McKibben is an author, environmentalist, and activist. In 1988 he wrote The End of Nature, the first book for a common audience about global warming.  He is a co-founder and Senior Advisor at 350.org, an international climate campaign that works in 188 countries around the world.

Jade Lindgaard is a journalist and author. She writes, reports, and investigates on climate, environmental justice, nuclear energy, infrastructure projects, and the movements fighting them. Lindgaard has published several books, including Eloge des mauvaises herbes. Ce que nous devons la ZAD (Liens qui libèrent, 2018); Je crise climatique. La planète, ma chaudière et moi (La Découverte 2014) and The impostor. BHL in wonderland (Verso, 2011).

Bryan Parras is a Houston resident and environmental justice advocate with Texas Environmental Advocacy Service (T.E.J.A.S.). He has worked tirelessly to improve the health and safety of residents living in the shadows of Houston's oil refineries, particularly the residents of Manchester, one of the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods and where Valero plans to refine much of the tar sand oil shipped through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Bryan is also a Gulf Coast Fund Managing Advisor.

This event is part of Festival Albertine 2019, curated by Bill McKibben. All events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Festival Albertine is presented in partnership with The Recanati-Kaplan Foundation, the family of Susannah Hunnewell, Van Cleef & Arpels, Air France, Institut français, Chantecaille, Green Mountain Energy, Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, and the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York. Generous support is provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York, Champagne Pommery, InterContinental New York Barclay, Simply Gourmand, Sud de France, and Gérard Bertrand.

Media partner: New York Review of Books.